First of all, apologies for the cheesy title. Honestly, I cringed while writing it but if you are reading this, I think the title did its job.
Two weeks ago, I attended a ‘Technology and Screen Detox’ online session facilitated by APTIV (The company I work for). It has made a considerable amount of difference in my lifestyle these last two weeks and I wish to share the insights I received, in this post. The session was taken by Bala Kishore (Click on the name to learn more about him and his journey). The core of the session as indicated by the name was to spread awareness about the negative effects of Screen overuse. Mr Kishore spoke about addiction to smartphones in children and adults alike, the effects of blue light on our eyes and most importantly the reduction in our attention span with an increase in screen usage. He urged everyone to consciously estimate and try to reduce the amount of time we spend in front of the screen and witness the changes it brings to our lifestyle.
Here are a few things I tried out that has helped me reduce Screen Usage over these two weeks.
1. Turn off all Notifications.
This is the first step I took when Mr Kishore advised us to do so during the session. The notifications for all the apps on my phone are turned off since. This has not only reduced my screen time drastically but has improved my attention span. With no distractions for hours at a stretch, I was able to finish important things faster. Last week, for the first time, every single item on my daily to-do list had a tick. And all this with just a small step of turning off the notifications.
2. Turn off Wifi at Night.
This is something, I had been meaning to do for a long time. The effect of being enveloped in the blanket of radiations will only be known in the long run. One can only guess what ill-effects can it induce on our mind and body over the years. We are, after all, the first generation to be experiencing this from a young age. While it is not realistic to avoid Wifi and other forms of radiations completely, reducing the exposure as much as we can, seems like a good step to take now.
For the last two weeks, the WiFi at our place is turned off at 10 PM and turned back ON only at 8 AM the next morning. This has also reduced the amount of time we spend with our phones during this gap. There is only so much you can do with your smartphones when its very soul is cut off.
3. Download a Screen Time Tracker
It is hard to achieve something without a tangible goal. If you have been using a smartphone for several years now, this detox challenge might be difficult. That is why having a tracker that can tell you how much of your screen time is being spent on which app helps. For instance, on day 1 the app showed me I had spent 7.5 hours on my phone and about 2 hours was spent on Facebook. It was an eye-opener. While the easiest option would be to delete FB from the phone it was not a feasible option for me as FB is one of the important marketing tools that I use for my books. However, it only needs 10-15 mins of my days time on FB to do so. For the first week, I set a 2 hours alarm on the app to warn me about my over-usage. After failing for 3 days, I was finally able to do it. Today, it shows my overall screen usage time as 39 mins.
PS: If your work involves sitting in front of the laptop for hours at a stretch then your screen time on the phone should be as minimal as possible.
4. Tint your screen
The effects of Blue light on our eyes is a known fact. Eliminating screens from our lives is not a feasible option either. Another small step to protect ourselves from the harsh light is to tint the screen. Twilight is an app suggested by Mr Kishore which I have been using since. Post sunset, the app creates an orange tint on the screen which gives a pleasant effect while using the phone in the dark.
You can learn more about Screen Detox here.
If you are an avid reader like me and prefer to read e-books, invest in the Kindle device (The first model with e-ink display). I have been using this for the last 5 years. It is nice on the eyes with no backlight (Just like reading a paperback). It is the first thing I bought for myself from my first paycheck. Honestly, it is like carrying a library around 🙂
That is all I had for today. Do you have any tips related to Screen and Technology detox? Tell me in the comments below.
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- Shikhandini – Warrior Princess of the Mahabharata (ebook and paperback)
- Those Girls – A Tale of Perspectives (ebook)