Screen Time

Screen time is the amount of time we spend using devices and technology. There are some concerns that we are spending too long looking at screens and many devices now provide tools to track our screen time.

Questions you may have:

  • Is all screen time bad? Open or Close

    Definitely not! Technology and our devices allow us to do lots of great things. Whether it’s chatting with friends and family, using the internet for research, playing exciting video games, or just having some down time.

  • Is having too much screen time dangerous? Open or Close

    Whilst it’s really important to be aware of how much time you’re spending on devices, and to find a healthy balance between life online and offline, you don’t need to panic about screen time. There are lots of things that factor into whether screen time makes you feel better or worse, like what you’re doing online and whether your time online is getting in the way of other important things, like sleep.

  • What does the research say about screen time? Open or Close

    There’s still research being done in this area, but currently there is no evidence that screen time is going to have long term consequences for our health. In fact, a study undertaken by researchers at Cardiff University and the University of Oxford proposed the Goldilocks theory:

    “There is a point between low and high use of technology that is ‘just right’ for teenagers when their sense of wellbeing is boosted by having ‘moderate’ amounts of screen time.”
  • How can I tell when I’ve had too much screen time? Open or Close

    There are lots of signs you might pick up on if you’ve spent a long time on a device. From physical signs (like a headache or stiff neck), to emotional signs (feeling irritated or distracted), to signs from the world around you (running out of battery or a family member complaining about your time online), it’s important to notice how using devices makes you feel and to stop when the warning signs tell you it’s too much.

  • What should I do if I feel addicted to my phone or other device? Open or Close

    There’s lots you can do if you’re worried about your screen time. Talk to someone like a friend or family member for support and use screen time settings to monitor your time spent on devices. Turning off features like notifications can make a huge difference too!

  • Someone I know spends all their time on their phone! How can I get them to focus? Open or Close

    It can be really tough if someone close to you spends a lot of time on their devices and you feel like this is distracting them from other things. It’s important to let them know how you feel, but try to be calm and clear during the conversation. Why not start by offering to put your own devices aside for a short period of time, and ask if they would consider doing the same whilst you talk?

  • Since the coronavirus, my screen time has increased. How much is too much? (COVID-19) Open or Close

    The coronavirus has meant that everyone has had to spend more time online. You may have been using the internet to stay in touch, complete work, or just to pass time. Remember, there is no set limit for how long you should spend on your devices. Instead, make sure you are enjoying your time online and balance it with doing things you enjoy offline. Look out for the same signs that you might need a break and take them regularly. Otherwise, be kind to yourself and don’t worry if your screen time has gone up!

Top Tips

  1. Buddy up with friends and family to manage screen time together. You could agree to set times when you won’t use devices or even try a digital detox together.
  2. Turn off notifications and other features you spot which are designed to draw you back to your device.
  3. Set a schedule. If you have something important to do, then give yourself a timetable for when you’re going to check your phone or other devices.
  4. Get an alarm clock and leave your devices to charge in another room overnight. This way your devices won’t be a distraction from getting a good night’s sleep!
  5. If being online is your favourite thing in the world, try and find something offline which brings you just as much joy. It’ll make finding a healthy balance much easier.