Phones and computers are probably one of man’s greatest technological inventions. They made life easier, enhancing access to information, entertainment such as casino jackpot fun, and learning materials. We can watch real-time news miles away and attend classes in the comfort of our homes, thanks to screen time.
Though these technological advancements connect the world, they have also drawn us apart. Families and friends can be in the same room yet so far away from each other, with every family member glued to their devices.
Others are watching movies, while some spend tons of hours on social media sites, virtually connecting with friends far away and ignoring the ones they can see.
Screen time needs restriction to allow humans to connect, have real conversations, and minimize device dependency. The addiction is out of control; even toddlers are dependent on tablets, phones, laptops, and TVs, contributing to more screen time.
What is screen time?
Screen time is the amount of time you spend watching videos, TV, operating computers, tablets, phones, and other screen-based devices. Though these gadgets have made life funner and easier, it is good to control screen time; otherwise, your kids will lack the social skills needed to excel in the real world.
If you want to know whether you have become phone and computer devices, evaluate if you can stay a whole day without them. If you constantly check for email notifications even when none has arrived, evaluating your screen time could be the right time.
Effect of excessive screen time
The internet is abuzz with endless content that can hook users for hours without getting bored. You can read lots of blogs, watch tons of movies and videos, play various exciting games, cultivate new hobbies and engage with family and friends on various social media platforms.
Nevertheless, spending unlimited time on the screen has drawbacks to your well-being. Here are some problems with excessive screen time:
- It builds anxiety associated with these budgets
- It makes it difficult to keep track of working hours
- It results in sleep deprivation and health hazards associated with a lack of proper sleep.
- Excessive screentime reduces the time for physical interaction and socializing
- It could result in psychological problems such as social detachment, anxiety, stress, and depression.
- It can stifle creativity and imagination among children. Children who spend too much time on TV or screen struggle to develop cognitive and psychomotor skills.
The negative effects of excessive screen time on adults and children are long, hence the need for moderation and balance. Let’s consider some advantages of setting a time limit for watching a screen or using computers.
Importance of limiting screen time
Some families have set rules on how much time family members can spend on the screen to allow time for real conversation and socializing. They have taken these steps because they realize the benefits and drawbacks of technology. Consider some of the reasons to limit screen time at your home:
- Improved Health
Some studies show that excessive screen time leads to various negative health effects, including obesity, cardiovascular complications, and diabetes among adults and children.
People who sit several hours a day on the screen with little or no time for physical exercise contribute to sleep problems and other health issues. On the hand, a limited screen time enables family members to be active and limits lifestyle diseases.
- Improved behavioral skills
Limiting screentime helps children and adults build social skills needed for harmonious co-existence. You can interact with people of different personalities and backgrounds, helping your family appreciate life and its diversity.
Spending excessive time on the screen has been linked to social, emotional, and attention problems among elementary school children.
Some TV programs, movies, and music depict violence and explicit content that could lead to desensitization and violent behavior among adults and children. You could see children resorting to violence to solve problems with their peers, parents, and teachers.
- Improved parenting ability
Gadgets have become the new parents in town, helping parents lull their children for hours as they go on with other activities. Screens have become the new nanny, but with devastating consequences. Limiting screen time allows parents to spend time with their children and improve parenting skills. Parents will be able to listen to their children’s concerns and teach them important social skills.
Parents who spend excessive time on the screen offer limited attention to their children’s needs, contributing to negative behaviors in their young ones. The child may seek wrong attention with dangerous people on the internet or succumb to bad associations at school. An excessive screen will significantly affect a parent’s ability to address their children’s negative behavior in time.
- Reduced family conflict
If you limit screen time, you will spend most of your time with family members talking to one another and amicable solving problems. You will unlikely witness family conflict and power struggles associated with excessive screentime.
If family members are always glued to their screens, yelling, arguments, rule-breaking, defiance, and manipulative behaviors will likely emerge. The power struggle and family conflict could trigger frustration and hopelessness among family members. Parents may also turn violent since they are not connected to their loved ones.
- Improved brain power
Limited time on the screen means more thinking and creativity for parents and children. The brain is a muscle, and the more you use it, the more it grows, enhancing family members’ ability to solve problems and handle life’s challenges calmly.
Some studies show that excessive screentime shrinks the brain’s grey matter, thus affecting the thought process and ability to generate ideas. Excessive screen time could also interfere with the insula, the brain part that promotes compassion and empathy. Instead of helping your brain, excessive watching damages your mental capacity. You can replace watching with reading as a family or storytelling to bond and enhance creativity.
Evaluate your screen time and take corrective action
Excessive screen time contributes negatively to your family life. Your children are likely to develop undesirable behavior as they feel neglected. Family members may develop health problems, including obesity, heart-related disease, and diabetes.
Why not assess how much time your family spends viewing the screen and take corrective measures as a family to spend more time conversing about how the day was. You can also play games and read to each other. Your family life will likely improve with everyone looking forward to family time, not screentime.