Minimizing The Health Risks Of Spending Too Much Time Online

We’ve all spent too much time online – hours scrolling on our phones or laptops, binge-watching the last hit show to the point of losing track of time. There are no upsides to this habit: our physical and mental health can be compromised.

A global survey reported that people average 6 hours and 58 minutes of screen time per day. If you work in front of a screen, this time doubles.

But let’s not panic yet. Instead, we can work on finding a balance between funny memes, cat videos, work, and the real world.

It is entirely possible; we just need to regulate ourselves until it becomes a habit. Let’s talk about what to do when a phone addiction gets out of hand.

1. Set Boundaries – And Stick To Them

You’ve probably heard the term boundaries a thousand times before, but it’s no less important. The content online is endless. As of January 2024, there are 5.35 billion internet users worldwide, which amounts to 66.2 percent of the global population.

If you spend too much time online, start by setting a timer and scrolling only in that limited time. On social media, try to aim for less and less time every day or schedule a few hours a day with zero screens. Don’t try to achieve everything in the first two days; start small and build up the habit until you’re satisfied.

2. Prioritize Real-Life Encounters And Friends

Online friends can work as a support network, and you can have amazing experiences with them through gaming or other online activities. However, nothing is quite like interpersonal connections.

Research shows that between 2015 and 2022, the average daily internet use has increased by 16 minutes. It doesn’t sound like much, but it means less time to grab a quick coffee with someone you like, less time spent creating, and more time spent simply… scrolling.

3. Practice Mindfulness Around Your Screens

Mindfulness has helped me create a healthier consciousness around the devices I use. It isn’t just a meditation practice, it can be applied to several areas of your life. For example, a VPN service provider can keep you safe online and help you stay aware of your level of safety and the information you share on social media.

Try starting by asking yourself if you need to be online at certain points of the day. Set up timers for everything and focus on one task at a time.

4. Take As Many Breaks As You Need 

Your eyesight suffers when it’s glued to one screen after another. You can set up a YouTube video with timers to rest your eyes or set up an alarm to spend an hour without a screen to distract you.

Here are some screen-free suggestions so that you don’t spend too much time online:

  • Take a walk;
  • Relax by doing something you enjoy;
  • Talk to someone in person;
  • Stretch, dance, or jump;
  • Play with your pet;
  • Clean something;
  • Make some food.

5. Get Hobbies Outside The Internet

You can learn a new instrument, knit, sew, go for a run, anything and everything can work. New hobbies bring a sense of excitement into your life, and you can meet new people and make new friends as well. The world has continued without screens, and it will not stop just because you’re lost on Instagram.

Find Your Sweet Spot

If you set boundaries and keep a mindful eye on how you spend your time, you will reduce your screen time. Of course, try not to do everything at once: habits take time to build. The world outside is waiting for you to live your life to the fullest!

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