How To Improve Your Wellbeing By Controlling Your Screen Time
4 minutes read
- Written by Yubo Team
At Yubo, we love smartphones as much as the next person. They allow us to connect and unwind with our friends, share memories, have a laugh or a heart-to-heart. They are small dopamine-producing machines that make us feel good as they facilitate our interactions with the world.
Unfortunately, there are also some dangers associated with this – namely, having many positive social experiences in an online world can reinforce compulsive behaviours, such as mindless scrolling and checking our notifications by the minute, and make us dependent and careless with our screen time. Overextending your screen time, and specifically social media time, can also lead to information overload, vulnerability to toxic online behaviours, increased privacy concerns or fear of missing out. Young people specifically are most at risk of developing smartphone addiction – this is why promoting healthy smartphone and internet habits is of utmost importance for us at Yubo.
Checking if you might have a problem is easy with the help of online checklists that focus on such aspects of smartphone usage such as checking your phone for notifications constantly, missing deadlines and being unable to keep track of time or being uncomfortable without your phone even if it’s for a brief period of time.
Real-life and social media balance
To proactively engage with this issue, we have created a video with a brief overview of tools that can help you manage your screen time easily and strike the right balance between real life and social media use. We encourage you to take some time off your screens: read a book, go for a little walk or simply take a pause to close your eyes and relax!
Managing your screen time on iOS
If you’re using an iOS device, go to your Settings, click on Screen Time and ****turn it on. In the menu, you then will be able to turn on Downtime. Downtime ensures that during your scheduled hours you will only be getting phone calls as well as notifications from the apps you hand-picked – no other digital white noise! You can also limit your time spent on individual apps. This is also accessible through the same part of the Settings menu. Click on Screen Time, then choose App Limits and enable them. You could designate a custom amount of time for every individual app, so make sure to try using this tool if your screen usage seems a little excessive. If your time on the app is coming to an end, your device will send you a reminder and grey out the app until the next day.
Managing your screen time on Android
If you’re using an Android device, go to your Settings, click on Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls, then tap on Focus mode and toggle on the switch to activate it. This mode will allow you to set your notification-free time from selected apps, and the apps themselves will be greyed out for the time being. When trying to access your greyed-out apps in Focus mode, you will get a notification reminding you that app use is currently paused. You can also control the time spent on individual apps and designate the amount of time a day that you are allowed to use them for. So go set your Yubo timer to whatever you feel would be the most beneficial to you – we promise we won’t mind!
Using your phone well
In conclusion, we’d like to share some general tips on how to prevent your relationship with your phone from becoming toxic:
- Use your phone purposefully, not habitually. Be mindful of when you pick up your phone and way. Try to reduce the number of times you browse through your apps without being specific regarding what your purpose for browsing is. You might be interested in checking out our blog post on how to use social media mindfully.
- …but don’t forget to save some time for purposeless scrolling. Considering that completely cutting out mindless scrolling does not sound realistic, one of the best ways of defeating it might be just trying to control it better. Instead of going on your phone every time you have a free second, set aside some time when you’re allowed to scroll through all your favourite social media, guilt-free.
- NotificatiONs, notificatiOFFs. Go through all the apps that send you push-notifications and make a conscious decision over which ones you can go without. This will prevent you from checking your phone every time your screen lights up and will make space for a more controlled engagement with your screen.
- Designate some “phone-free” time or zone. You can make time for activities and hobbies that exclude phone usage fully, such as cooking or reading. Use iOS and Android tools suggested above to help you through it. Alternatively, you can have designated “phone-free” zones in your house, such as your kitchen or bathroom.
So don't hesitate to take a break from your phone and enjoy the world around you. Yubo will still be there after that for you to make new friends.