These days, many people reevaluate their relationship with screens and life online, whether it is merely trying to put the phone down more often or abandoning social media platforms.
Screens are not inherently wrong and can be useful or entertaining in many situations, but they can also be addictive and distract you from the real-life and real people all around you.
These tips may help you cut back.
Set a Schedule
Many people find it helpful to set a schedule to read and respond to email just once a day.
You can do the same for your social media accounts if you can’t delete them entirely for work or family reasons.
People will get used to the fact that they might have to wait 24 hours or more to get a response from you.
It can be more challenging to train people out of texting you, exceptionally since it can be more convenient than phone calls for some interactions.
On the other hand, some lengthy back-and-forths that happen over text could be quickly resolved with a fast call, so it may be worth trying.
Finally, set a schedule for your other screen usage and limit how much time per day you look at them and avoid them when you are doing something else, such as eating or trying to go to sleep.
Change Your Profession
You don’t have to have a tech job to work in a field that expects you to be available for what may feel close to 24/7.
It sounds drastic, but if feeling tethered continuously to your phone drives you crazy, maybe it’s time for a change.
While every profession has embraced technology to some extent to allow employees to work smarter and more efficiently, there are still jobs that get you away from being overly reliant on screens.
How does being a mail carrier, teaching skiing, or becoming an archaeologist sound?
Many medical and dental practice areas will have you spending much more time hands-on with patients than in front of a screen.
You might need to go back to school to make some of these changes, but you can use scholarships and loans to pay for your tuition.
Private student loans can make up the difference in the gap left by federal loans, usually insufficient to cover all your expenses.
Look for Alternatives
One reason it’s so hard to cut back on-screen usage is that they are so useful.
Everything from podcasts to news reports to a video of your new nephew to the latest best-seller can be delivered via your phone, so what’s a 21st-century dweller to do?
The answer is to replace and prioritize. You don’t need to look at news throughout the day always, and there are some real tactile pleasures in reading books, magazines, and newspapers in print.
Are there friends and family members who would appreciate getting letters from you?
Could you mix up family time to include board games or walks in the park, and other outings instead of staring at a screen?