Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

Screen Time and Health: Finding Balance in the Digital Age

  Mar 28, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

Screen Time and Health

What can you do if your screen time is out of control? In this new digital age, technology keeps embedding itself into every facet of our lives. 

It is getting harder to balance this timing with other aspects of life, such as socialization, creative time, unwinding, and even learning. 

New research has even shown that excessive use of phones, if not properly stabilized, can lead to detrimental effects such as increased risk for anxiety or emotional instability. 

A study into screen time and college-age students showed that the average college-age student in the U.S. spent 8–10 hours a day using their smartphone. 

The results of this report were to determine if the relationship between the students and devices was healthy or not. 

This eye-opening data shows a clear issue between balancing the use of mobiles, personal health, and education.

Nowadays, it’s not just social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram racking up hours, either. 

Maybe you’ve enrolled in an online NP program in Texas or other forms of virtual classes—online education requires a lot of screen time from its students, so it’s required to find strategies so it doesn’t impact their physical or mental health. 

Students can spend anywhere from an hour or more a day attending virtual classes to completing online coursework and watching pre-recorded lectures.

So, with the average student spending 8–10 hours a day using their smartphone, how do you stabilize that with work, socializing with friends, and minimizing the impact on study? 

Our tips will help you know the perfect balance between required screen time and surfing social media platforms, along with prioritizing your health.

Balance Screen Time

Why You Should Balance Screen Time?

Studies have shown that screen time can, both, positively and negatively impact a person’s well-being and development—with the key factor being finding the right balance that works for the individual. 

For example, if you’re a parent, technology can be a great way to help foster a child’s social connections as it takes away the physical barrier and anxiety. 

It can help them make friends, find new interests, and bond with others, however, the key is in moderation and setting limits. 

Too much use of phones might be isolating, and they could use it as a replacement for human socialization.

It’s vital to remember that not all screen use is equal, either. Using screen time for example, for online studying, online meeting with friends, or watching educational videos is different from using technology as a form of escape or scrolling through TikTok videos for hours. 

For example, TikTok videos use instant gratification to keep users hooked, and that can have a negative impact and also be a huge distraction to students who have trouble focusing.

You’re a college-age student looking for plans to find balance, or a parent looking for tips to moderate phone time for growing children—our following strategies might help in both ways.

Keep in mind, that what works best for balancing screen time will differ from person to person.

ScreenTime Stats for 2023

Our Strategies for Balancing Screen Time

From improving your sleep, concentration, and behavior, there’s a list of reasons to balance it. 

If you’ve noticed any signs of struggling with screen time recently, you need to be mindful and try to implement these strategies early on. 

Signs that you’re addicted could include this habit interfering with your sleep, your device preoccupying your thoughts, or your screen being your mood booster.

Do You Know?
On average, children 8-18 spend 7.5 hours a day in front of screens for entertainment alone

Strategies to Pull Away From Your Device:

  1. Create device-free areas or times-: For example, dedicate a few hours a day to a technology-free activity, such as reading or drawing. 

    This can help you pull away from relying on digital, and dedicate time to hobbies outside of screen time.

  1. Move aspects of your study offline-:  Besides this might be hard if you study online or externally, you can always print out reading material or course activities to do offline instead of on your device.
  1. Timer on social media or entertainment-: You can set a timer on your social media platform like Instagram reels or TikTok. 

    This can help you be more mindful about your screen time usage, and limit it to, for example, only one hour a day.

  1. Limit the use of screens and phones-: One of the most common places for people to jump on their phones is just before bed, which can be disruptive to sleep. So, it’s suggested to limit the use of mobiles at bedtime. 
  1. Restrict social media usage-: It’s easy to be sucked into social media platforms, checking for updates or messages from friends. Log out or restrict notifications to take a break.

It can be hard to find a balance between screen time, study, and your personal life. 

If you feel that you’re struggling to detach from technology, and it’s detrimental to other aspects of your life—it might be worth talking to a psychologist or counselor to work on customized strategies tailored to you.

Also Read: Chronic Care in the Digital Age