Bright Bees Masthead

Minimise That Screen…Time

Food Fitness Fashion

The relationship I have with my computer and mobile are terribly one sided.

While they certainly serve a valuable practical function in my life, all my lengthy staring at them mostly just leaves me with sore eyes. I don’t mind staring (I’m an avid people watcher), and there are worse things than having sore eyes, however, I prefer them to be sore from something ‘natural’ like spending too much time in the sun or swimming without goggles rather than incessant Facebook stalking and watching too many Youtube videos…

It’s not just me who has a toxic relationship with technological sidekicks. Most people I know are unnecessarily attached to their phones or computers.

If we’re not staring at a computer screen all day for work or university, we’re checking our phones or watching our TVs. The only way we can seemingly escape screen time is by actively removing ourselves from them by going for perpetual hikes and/or moving to Antarctica. Ok, so you probably don’t have to move to Antarctica (plus there’s probably internet there too), but it’s invariably a good thing to control screen time and make sure to get outside more.

More than anything, reducing screen time will help you function better as a human…

Not only will you be able to interact with actual people better than you can with their online profile, your overall cognitive function can only be improved the more you minimise screen time. Studies show that internet addiction is “associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control”*. Those are some pretty serious and varied side effects. While these are the proven consequences of internet addiction, it can probably be shown that any form of screen time is detrimental to our health in some way.

We should remember that computers, TVs and mobile phones are fairly new additions to society, and the side effects of their ubiquity are yet to be revealed.

On to a more positive note, one major upside of being glued to your computer screen is that you’re probably less likely to be struck by a tree or hit by a bus…there are of course more extensive upsides to the internet and the gadgets that deliver it.

We’re super well connected and can be aware of what’s happening on the other side of the world at the press of a button, we’re gifted with greater connectivity and an extremely easy way to communicate with others. The internet and the technology that surrounds it are also fundamental parts of modern-day society, so to not interact with them gives you a pretty sizeable disadvantage in life.

Therefore, the only way of maintaining internet use while not slowly turning into a vegetable is to control and monitor screen time (yes, this probably means going for long hikes or adventures where you don’t take your phone):

  • If you want to take pictures, just take a camera (disposable ones can be as cheap as $4 from the Reject Shop).
  • If you want to be more productive during your screen time (i.e. spend less time on Facebook and Instagram), then install some software that blocks these sites temporarily – or just realise that they’re actually really boring and not worth your time anyway (which is what I tell myself about my ex-boyfriend and, you’re right, it doesn’t really work), and
  • More than anything, don’t value yourself according to your online presence – I find it’s an unnecessary source of stress.

So, while I’m sure you’re all aware that spending hours upon hours in front of some sort of screen is probably not conducive to good health, this has been a (hopefully helpful) little reminder to get outside and live your life instead of leading a virtual one! You won’t regret it.

* www.psychologytoday.com

Image of ‘…woman using smartphone…‘ via Shutterstock

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Food Fitness Fashion

We’re Charlotte and Em, two uni students living in Canberra and writing a blog on the side. Our blog is called Food Fitness Fashion, and encompasses all things, well, food, fitness and fashion. We love coming up with new recipes, exploring new places to exercise in Canberra, finding hidden clothing gems in op-shops, and generally making the most of living in the nation’s capital! We’ve really enjoyed writing a blog so far, and it allows us to gain some experience in the professions we hope to pursue – Charlotte wants to work in marketing and Emily wants to one day work as some sort of writer! If you want to follow our blog, here is the web page: www.food-fitness-fashion.com or if you just want to see some pretty pictures, mainly of food, follow us on Instagram at @foodfitnessfashion_fff More about the Author

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