Staring at screens is something we’re used to doing. You’re even doing it right now! Americans spend an average of 444 minutes – or 7.4 hours – every day staring at screens, including TV screens, smartphone screens, tablet screens and computer or laptop screens. That might seem like a lot, but people in Indonesia spend a lot more time per day doing this, spending staggering 9 hours each day glued to their screens. There are concerns that this excessive amount of time spent staring at screens can lead to eye problems and that screen addiction can cause brain problems, especially in developing children. So ask yourself this: how do you tell if you spend too much of your day starting at screens? Read on to find out:
You can’t put your smartphone down when crossing the road
If you stare at your phone while crossing the road, you’ve got a problem. People have been killed because they were staring at their phones while crossing the road; if they had been concentrating on what was around them instead of what was on their phone, they could well have been lived. Recognise when it’s the right time to look away from the screen in front of you and to concentrate on your surroundings.
You have several screens up at the same time
This is definitely a sign that you spend too much of your day staring at screens. If one screen isn’t enough, you’ve got a problem. Can you watch TV and focus entirely on the TV or do you go on your phone, laptop or tablet at the same time? You’re not watching the TV if you’re looking at your phone. Don’t try to multitask because one screen at a time is more than enough. Plus, you won’t enjoy TV as much if you have other screens open because you won’t be able to concentrate on it as much.
You feel like you’re missing out when you’re not staring at screens
Some people spend as much as half of their waking day staring screens. They’re so used to doing this, that they can’t bear to go without and if they can have a screen to stare at, they will. Ask yourself this: if you turn all your devices off, do you feel like you’re missing out on anything? If you do feel like you’re missing out, this is probably a sign you’ve become too used to staring at screens.
You can’t go a short amount of time without staring at screens
Another sign you’re spending too much of your day staring at screens is if you can’t go a short amount of time without doing it. See how long you can last – the less amount of time you can last without, the more addicted you are to staring at screens. Set yourself challenges and go without your devices for a longer amount of time for each challenge.
You don’t do other things
Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Many people are so used to spending so much of their day staring at screens that they miss out on other things. If you’ve stopped doing everyday things because you spend so much time on your devices, perhaps it’s for the best if you spend less time on your devices and make time for the things you used to enjoy.