The evidence is in. The more you use social media, the more depressed you’re likely to be. Plus, the research into screen time shows that looking at your phone at night can disrupt your body’s natural sleep signals. The result is less sleep, higher incidence of poor mental health and lower concentration levels.
So what to do?
Here are 5 tips to reduce your screen time and claw back your happiness:
1. No phone use after dinner
We know it sounds difficult, but we all need safe boundaries in life. Your body needs to know it’s night time to wind your mind down ready for sleep.
If you’ve ever tried to sleep while your mind shoots off thoughts like fireworks on New Year’s Eve, you know why this is important.
If you need to get your streaming fix, screen it on your telly (Chromecast and Apple TV are popular solutions for this), at least then you’ll be sitting farther away from the light.
2. Set your work alarms on repeat
You don’t want to be on your phone just before you go to bed to set your alarm. Set it to your routine and have it on repeat so that you never have to think about it again.
3. Charge your phone away from your bed
This one relates to alarms too. When you’ve been inconvenienced enough to get out of bed to turn off your alarm you’ll be too grumpy to begin the day online. You’ll be on your feet stumbling around the house. The morning struggle is real.
Plus, if your phone isn’t at reach at night, you’ll be less likely to grab for it.
4. Manage your notification settings.
The default settings on most social media platforms can be intrusive. A notification should be something important, otherwise, leave me alone.
- only accept notifications from people
- turn off notifications to your email (or set up a new email address to link your social media accounts to and never check it)
- turn off notifications to group chat groups, you can check those at your leisure
5. Use voice messages
For most of us, typing is slow. Speaking is quick.
Not only is this a time-saver, it means you don’t have to look at your phone, you can just speak in to it. Do it!
Bonus drastic tip: Go black and white
Most late model phones have a grayscale setting to change the image display to back and white. Colours are sugar to the brain, and this might be the step you need to kick your addiction.
Grayscale on most phones is in Settings → Accessibility → Vision → Grayscale or Colour Filters