It seems like every application has a “digital well-being” section in their settings lately. Users have been more mindful of how bright their screens are, how long they have been staring at it, and if the time spent is benefitting their life outside of the screen.
As a graphic designer, I really struggle with this. I stare at a screen almost all day. At work, during my leisure time, even in my car to see what song is playing on my large dashboard. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up and practically the last before I go to bed. According to Harvard Health: long-term blue light can affect your circadian rhythm and biological clock, and lack of sleep can really affect your mental health.
Part 1: Save Your Eyesight, Reduce Your Screen Time
There are many ways screen time affects us. Most of the content we see are ads and promotions influencing and feeding us consumerism. Another reason is that we see bits and pieces of our peers perfect lives, comparing them compare to our lives. The third point is staring into a bright light all day, which is not great. In this blog post I will be focusing on how to use less blue light in you daily routine. Now that I am getting older, my eyesight is begging for some screen control, so these are a few ways I plan to achieve that.
Top Ways I Reduce Blue Light Screen Time:
- Get a night light app
This is one of the best ideas that has come out. There are built-in and external apps that reduces blue levels in your screens backlight. I use this on Windows 10 settings and on my Google Pixel settings, both with built-in night dimmers. You can also download an app that reduces the blue light. My favourite app is called Twilight and Dimly for android, or an iOS alternative Brightness.
2. Write, don’t type
We are so used to writing lists and notes on our phones. Now I am a firm believer of taking advantage of technology to set reminders and typing quick notes, however not everything needs to be typed. Invest in a journal, notebook and some sticky pads to write your notes. I have seen some really affordable and cute notebooks from SheIn recently. I also recently bought a narrow whiteboard for my room. Writing things down where you can see it so you have a constant reminder outside of you phone is a great way to display accountability.
3. Monitor your sleeping habits
Know when to put down the phone and go to bed. Screen time affects for sleep, which will affect your whole day. Best way to know how to get better sleep is to know how much sleep you need. Once you figure that one, try to limit you screen time before bed to 1 hour prior to going to sleep. I struggle with this because I like to scroll on social media before sleeping. Try charging your phone far away so you are not tempted to check it late at night.
4. Choose alternative entertainment
Try doing activities that do not require you to stare at your screen. Do you like working out and following along with a video at home? Try listening to a video instead. I recently found a great yoga/meditation youtuber that I like to follow along to. I personally like to just play it as if it were a podcast and listen to her instructions. Try writing in your journal or create a dream board or travel board for fun. I also like to listen to music, so I have been listening to Spotify or putting my vintage record player to use lately while I journal. When last have you talked to a friend or loved one over the phone rather than text? They might appreciate the call during these times.
6. Read More
I actually love start a book but hate to finish it, hahaha. But since this unending quarantine season I have been spending time finishing those books I have sitting at home. Invest in a library card and read books that actual interest you. You can find books on literally any topic. I am currently reading a book called, How to Breathe by Ashley Neese (25 simple practices for calm, joy and resilience). I love reading books where I can learn something new or pickup a new habit.
I know that a lot of our free time is spent staring at screens and it is a very hard habit to break, even for me. But hopefully these ideas will help reduce the amount of blue light your eyes stare at during the day. Try to give your eyes a break with new hobbies. On part two, I will dive into social media influencer “framing”, where influencers only show the highlights of their life and we should try not to compare ours to what we see online.
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