Easy methods to have a greater relationship along with your expertise
Our reliance on technology has grown significantly during the pandemic. App analytics company App Annie found that users spent around 4 hours and 18 minutes per day on mobile devices in April 2020. This corresponds to an increase of 20% compared to the previous year, which corresponds to an additional screen time of 45 minutes per day.
Research shows that there is nothing inherently wrong with spending more time on screens – especially now. Aside from the benefits of reaching out to friends, family, and colleagues, using technology can help us manage difficult emotions and even relieve stress.
However, not all of the screen time is created equal. Some online activities involve a degree of risk. For example, if you passively scroll through social media for an extended period of time, it is associated with greater feelings of envy and loneliness, as well as a greater risk of depression.
Then what should we do in the months ahead to ensure that our relationship with technology remains as healthy and constructive as possible at a time when we are all so dependent on it?
It is far too easy to say that we will reduce our technical effort.
The answer depends somewhat on your own inclinations. You might be the type to feel calm and inspired after spending half an hour curating themed boards on Pinterest. However, if you mindlessly scrolling Instagram for the same amount of time, you may feel tired and irritable.
Regardless of who you are, I believe we can all benefit from a more conscious approach to how we spend our screen time. Our goal should be to find our personal technical balance. Realize that what works best for you may not be what works for everyone else.
Here are some ways we can change our behavior and mindset to achieve better balance in the weeks and months to come.
Build your awareness. It is difficult to change behaviors if we don't know exactly what they look like. A good place to start is by keeping track of where you spend your screen time by using an app like Moment or your phone's built-in tools. Remember, tracking is not enough. You need to check these statistics regularly.
Checking in is important as studies show that we tend to underestimate the amount of time we spend scrolling and swiping. Tracking provides perspective and gives you a sense of what changes you might want to make.
I also recommend doing regular mood check-ins every couple of hours while online. When scrolling, it is often not clear which conversation, app or Twitter thread influenced our mood. By deliberately reporting to yourself, you can better find out what makes you feel bad and decide what activities to avoid or recall in the future.