By Annaleise Parsons | Staff Writer
With COVID-19, technology has become a saving grace to society. We’re now able to be instantly connected to our friends and family through texting, watching what everyone else is doing through Instagram and the media and having work meetings and online classes from the comfort of our own rooms.
The constant use of social media, GroupMe, Zoom and Canvas apps requires our constant attention, and if unhandled, can seem to take over every minute of our lives.
People ages 16-24 spend an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes on social media each day, according to a study by Digital Information World in 2019. With the lockdowns, social distancing and quarantine in 2020 and 2021, it’s safe to say that this average has increased.
Online learning and hybrid classes have increased our time looking at a screen even longer.
Cell phones and social media can be escapist tools to calm ourselves when stressed about work, school, the pandemic or other responsibilities.
Can’t understand a concept on a difficult assignment? Just click on Instagram and scroll for a few minutes. Then, the few minutes turns into an hour, and it can feel as if time has slipped out of our hands.
Screen time limits are needed. Apple devices have a feature installed where users can see how much time they’re spending on each app, their total amount of screen time and can even set limits for individual apps. Android phones and Apple devices can download apps such as Screen-Time, Zen Screen, and Freedom to monitor and limit social media usage.
Using screen time limits is a great compromise between deleting apps that take up time and allowing your screen time to go unmonitored.
Experts have found that the average person should spend less than 30 minutes a day on social media. While this may be a huge decrease for you, try setting limits each week with smaller increments rather than just completely cutting off social media to 30 minutes a day.
If you know that the screen time limit screen won’t stop you from endlessly scrolling and that you would simply allow yourself more time on social media, have a trusted family member or friend create a password so you won’t be tempted to go past the allotted time.
Take back the hours of your day. Go for a walk, read a book and appreciate life without a screen.