Now, more than ever before, we are all facing the battle (and the privilege) of the tech. Confined to our home, many of us with reduced workload, furloughed or redundant completely, what exactly can we do all day? Cooking, cleaning, baking, home school, work outs, gardening, organising – if we’re totally honest, even most of these activities will drive us online whether it be to find a recipe, do a shop, access YouTube PTs or get tips to improve our home.
So do we still need to have a such a hang up about screen time, even right now? Maybe it’s time we made some peace with the fact that we are all going to spend a huge amount of time online, from the kids doing homework on Google classroom to the grandparents who video call the family.
What’s bad about excess screen time?
There are a few known issues that are caused by spending too much time on devices or computers. Let’s take a look at them:
Disturbed sleep – if screens are looked at right before going to bed, the blue backlight which is emitted can interrupt circadian rhythm (the natural sleep cycle) in the body. This means it becomes harder to fall, and stay, asleep. Choosing the right monitor can help with this as some have reduced blue light emissions and flicker free technology such as this Asus one.
Cyber bullying – too much time on socially active media can lead to bullying from either friends or even strangers. It is easier to be ‘braver’ online which can lead to actions that would never otherwise occur.
Weight gain and physical pain – being online usually means remaining sedentary which can lead to weight gain and the related health problems of this and general inactivity. There can also be issues caused in the back or in wrists and hands by sitting in the wrong position or overdoing the same activity and getting RSI. Browse our full range of accessories to find more ergonomic solutions to suit you.
Behavioural problems – over exposure to excessive violence, fast moving games and other screen-related issues can reduce attention span in children in particular. It can also cause them to act differently in social environments, be more physically violent themselves and can even hinder academic performance.
Reading this will no doubt have you binning all the screens in your home but is that really necessary?
How to overcome the issues caused by excess screen time
Right now, it’s not exactly feasible to suggest children or adults don’t spend much time online. So how do you ensure your family’s health and mental well-being aren’t compromised? Here are some top tips:
- Motion pictures
Being online doesn’t mean staying still these days. Get your laptop onto YouTube and make the most of the incredible free work outs being conducted by qualified personal trainers everywhere. There are daily PE work outs for those who want to get fit and yoga and Pilates for those who want increased mobility. There is no excuse for inactivity when you have a screen and an internet connection. Why not choose a larger-than-usual monitor so you can see your instructor better too, such as this 27" one?
- Use the force for good rather than evil
If screen time only equates to playing games that will warp the brain then yes, you have a problem. But what else is out there? There is so much to do online you can literally be spoilt for choice. Lessons to teach you about anything you’ve ever had a passing interest in, craft workshops, podcasts to teach you about meditation and mental well-being, cook along tutorials to guide you into being the next Masterchef, websites on what to plant and when and so much more besides. And if you’re looking for a cost-effective machine, check out our refurbished gaming PCs or refurbished desktops that give you more bang for your buck.
- Connecting together
In an unprecedented time where we could feel completely isolated and disparate from friends and family, we can actually interact better than ever before. There are apps for group chats and quizzes, social media channels to see what your loved ones are up to, games that allow you to play with friends and meet new ones, digital dating experiences to meet your next love and even the government are posting their recommendations and advice to help protect lives. There’s a general sense of community running throughout everything that has never been seen in most of our lifetimes and one that is making the online world a happier place.
If abused or used incorrectly, excess screen time can most certainly be a bad thing. But right now, in these strange times, we should all be thankful for the technology we have access to for what it can do for us. It can educate, integrate and activate us all to not only do more with our time but generally become better people too. Use it wisely and your tech will enrich your life.