I recently went to the pediatrician for a routine checkup for my son. He is 2.5 years old and is the joy of my life. The doctor asked me “how many hours per day does your son spend on devices?” Well, I just froze. I knew he spends way too much time, but I assumed it was part of being a kid in his generation. My son is a late talker. The doctor suggested zero screen time for the next 12 months, and replace it with reading more books, imagination play, physical exercise, and music from real sources, not devices. All common sense advice and we have followed it since meeting the doctor with positive results already!
If I can see such an improvement in my son, how about adults? If you work in a modern office environment, days seem filled with email, video conferences, more email and Skype calls. It looks like every new Silicon Valley startup is about connecting us to more data, people or new ways to consume stuff we don’t need. It’s a never-ending life lived on our devices. I love technology and progress, but at some point, we have to reflect and consider the real value it brings to our lives.
Our devices can open up the world to amazing opportunities. However, the not too obvious downside is mindless web surfing, youtube binging and overuse of social media which can become automatic. It’s so easy to form unhealthy digital habits that are not in the best interest of our adult learning and mental health. So I’m going to take my advice and shut down my computer and take a walk in the park. Give it a try yourself after reading this post, shut down and turn off your screen and walk your dog, ride your bike or play with your kids. Just remember to leave your phone at home.
Do you have a healthy relationship with screen time?
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