It’s no surprise that the ample amount of time we spend online can deteriorate our mental health. In the past few years, this fact was revealed study after study. If you’re one of the many Americans, who find themselves in this position, you’re probably wondering how to trim down the time you spend behind a screen, whether you’re parking it in front of your laptop, using Internet apps on your smartphone, or lounging at home with a tablet in hand. If you’re interested in reclaiming this time for more thoughtful and less digital pursuits, check out our suggestions below.
Give yourself a cut-off time for Internet use.
Do you find yourself scrolling on your Internet-enabled smartphone late into the night? If so, cut back the time you spend on your phone by assigning yourself an Internet cut-off time. Consider halting all online activities by 9 or 10 p.m. That way, you can enjoy a few hours of Internet use after your day ends, while still enjoying plenty of quality personal and family time, Internet-free.
Control your smartphone notifications.
Sometimes, it isn’t so much that you’re spending a lot of time online. Instead, it’s the constant flow of smartphone notifications that distracts you from your real life. Luckily, there are several fixes to this 21st-century dilemma. First, you can use your device’s settings app to change how you receive notifications. You can also simply tap your device’s Do Not Disturb button to suspend any distractions while you’re hard at work, hanging out with your family, or simply relaxing, screen-free.
Consider putting away your devices entirely.
If you can’t control the urge to check social media, read your favorite blog, or spend hours on YouTube, consider putting the device away entirely. Hiding your smartphone for a few hours, for example, can force you to put your behavior in check. As the old saying goes, your devices might be out of mind once they’re out of sight, so why not give it a try? The results might be worth it!
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