Earlier there used to be very few electronic entertainment sources which were television and radio. Families used to watch television and sit together in the living room. In just a few years, the scenario has completely changed. Now every member of the family has their own mobile phone. After Jio launched 4G, the Internet is quite cheaper, and social media channels have so much stuff to explore, which eventually becomes the cause of high screen time.
Here is the cause of high screen time
- Binge watch: It may sound illogical to one to watch a movie for 10 hours. OTT platforms brought a new concept ‘web series’. It’s a movie divided into a few parts. Each part ended at such a point that it made the audience excited to watch the next part. This is a binge-watch. People watch many episodes at a single time on OTT platforms. This is kinda addictive but people are loving it.
- Social Media: There are many social platforms famous in India like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and many more. People spend a lot of time on social media watching reels and vlogs, stalking people, and knowing what is going on worldwide.
- Cheap internet: Few years back internet used to be expensive so the internet was used in limit and people were used to being continuous about the usage of the internet. Now there are many unlimited internet packages available at very low prices which makes the internet more accessible to more people.
- Work-from-home culture: Before covid 19, there was no such concept of working from home. Usually, people used to go to the office for work. Working hours were limited. Now most people work at home or hybrid. See, this working culture makes working hours flexible. People don’t take pressure to complete work with focus so that work can be done timely. They take the whole day to work which is influencing work-life balance too.
- Mobile games: Once, PubG became so famous among youngsters that they used to play games the whole time. Even kids started to skip the important work to play PubG. This is just one example, other than PubG there are so many games available on which people consume a lot of time. It needs constant focus which affects eyesight and sleep cycle.
- Divert mind: In covid time, people ended up alone at home. Mobile phones and TV helped them a lot in hard times to spend their time and to divert the mind of people. Still, there are many people who live alone so they are more likely to spend more time on mobile phones and TV.
Adverse Effect of High Screen Time on People
- Tune out: People are into online social life so much that they start avoiding meeting people in person. Even in social gatherings people don’t feel connected and prefer to use mobile phones.
- Depression: Time spent in front of the screen impacts negatively on mental and emotional health. Experts suggest that depression and higher screen time are connected to some extent as one can lose the ability to read emotions in general.
- Weak Eyesight: High screen time can affect eyesight. The rays coming from the eyes can irritate the eyes, make the eyes dry, and fatigue. People should maintain a proper distance from the screen and wear aspects that can save eyes from blue rays.
- Bad Posture: People sitting in the same posture for hours can cause chronic pain in the back and neck. People should take a break in between to walk around, stretch and stand. The chair must have ample back support and be comfortable.
- Obesity: High screen time becomes the reason for less physical movement which can cause obesity. People sit in one place for hours. It does not make people less hungry so people eat a sufficient amount but there is no burning of calories so excessive intake of caloeirsṣ is turned into fat.
- Addiction: When a person wakes now, the first thing he or she does is check the notifications on the phone. People could not even imagine their life on the phone. People rely too much on phones every time that they can’t sit idly without a Phone.
- Overeating: When people watch movies or series, they like to have snacks at that time. While busy watching tv or using the phone, they stopped to mind how much they are eating which can eventually cause fat gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Abnormal expectations: People get influenced by the lifestyle of people they watch online. Whatever is shown in online social media is not completely true. OTT platforms make movies from the US and other Western countries accessible. By watching these movies, they start feeling that they are living in a worse place.
Habits that can help to reduce Screen Time
- People must have more engagement in outdoor activities like sports and travel.
- Make bedroom mobile phones free. At sleep time, mobile phones distract me a lot.
- Spend time with people in person rather than online. Have lunch with my family. There must be mealtime = family time.
There are both pros and cons of mobile phones and other electronic devices. These devices make life more easier and convenient. But there much be a balance between offline and online life.