I can feel myself slipping back into the screen trap, mindless scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest and watching rubbish on TV. Hours can disappear away leaving me with a feeling of negativity because I know I have wasted so much time. Not only that a lot of the content leaves me depressed.
These are some thoughts as to how I can reduce screen time and really make it work for me.
I have my favourite programmes that I invested time in watching and am not prepared to give up, but also find it is easy to lose 20mins here and there just scrolling through adverts. It takes willpower not to automatically switch on the TV, especially if you are not always in control of the remote. I am going to try and set a limit on the number of hours I watch TV in a week by only recording my absolute favourites and only watching recordings so I can fast forward through adverts. If I only allow myself a set number of hours a week to watch TV am I really going to waste it on something I am not that bothered about?
These apps are great for inspiring creativity and keeping in touch with people and news, but they can also have a detrimental effect on mental health and wellbeing. I see certain people who are constantly posting about depression and at the same time appear to spend all their time on Facebook sharing negative posts about politics and social issues. I believe a high proportion of these sort of posts are deliberately worded to stir up emotions, followed by arguments in the comments.
I’ve spent the last couple of years finely tuning my newsfeed, particularly on Facebook. I’ve selected my best friends and marked them as “always see first”. I’ve blocked almost all political and / depressing news stories from my feed by blocking the pages that people share posts from as they appear. I snooze people who annoy me from time to time for 30 days. If after 2 or 3 snoozes they still annoy me I completely unfollow them. Some of these people are lovely in real life but annoying on social media. I’ve also unfriended a few people who I didn’t really know but somehow ended up friends with them.
The downside to this is that I am now spending longer on Facebook because there is more to interest me. I also find that I get neck, shoulder and arm pain if I use my phone too long.
I need to try and set a time limit on scrolling time or only use it when my activities are limited such as on the bus. I could also try to not have my phone in the same room all the time.
These really are addictive and a complete waste of time, particularly those . Last year I realised I was wasting a lot of time on a game I had spent hours probably weeks of my life playing over several years. I deleted it and can honestly say I have not missed it at all.