Ways to limit screen time


Aliyah Rodriguez, Features & Lifestyle Editor

It’s been a problem plaguing students since the beginning of the pandemic: between attending Zoom lectures for hours, writing assignments on your laptop, using your phone and trying to watch some TV to destress; students are spending way too much time behind the screen and it’s really starting to take its toll with the start of the new semester.  

The first, and easiest, thing you can do to limit your screen time is to limit unnecessary usage of your cell phone. Sometimes, in those 8 minutes between Zoom lectures, you might be tempted to do some quick scrolling through your Twitter or Instagram feed. Try downloading a productivity app or utilizing your phone’s settings that will keep you from using your phone during the times that you’re in class. Apps like Freedom and Screentime (available for both iOS and Android devices) block the usage of specific apps within a time frame that the user sets.  

Secondly, try limiting the way you access information. Sometimes getting your news from social media apps like Twitter can eventually send you on a spiral of endlessly consuming new information for a long period of time. Instead of relying on apps that combine news and social commentary, access your information from apps or websites specifically designated for just news, or even in limited time frames like the evening news.  

Another opportunity to limit screen time is to use your breaks as break instead of as an opportunity to multitaskWhen you’re ready to eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a quick snack, keep your devices away from you. It’s always tempting to try to get as much work done as possible throughout the day, or to simply enjoy a meal with the next episode of your Netflix show, but these moments can be used to give yourself a break from your screen. A run to the restroom doesn’t need to involve social media either, regardless of how tempting it may be to bring some entertainment into the bathroom with you.   

Lastly, try giving your eyes some rest every chance you get. When you have a break between classes remove your glasses, power down your laptop screen or even simply close your eyes to relieve the tension for a few moments.  

Limiting screen time may not be possible for every student, however. Sometimes you just need those few hours of Netflix viewing or TikTok scrolling to unwind after a long day of remote work. If you find yourself feeling a headache coming on, don’t stop yourself from taking a moment to give your eyes a break. The best thing you can do for yourself is to simply listen to your body.