Managing Time Spent Online
Being able to contact others, and be contacted, 24 hours a day can have great benefits – it can help us to feel safer when out and about and allow us to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world. However, a growing number of children and young people have reported feelings of needing to be available online 24/7. This pressure is leading to social media becoming a part of everyday activities such as: mealtimes, in the bath, while with friends and when watching TV. These long episodes of scrolling not only result in wasted time, but can have an effect on relationships and mental health and wellbeing. If managing your time online is starting to become a problem, here are some useful strategies:
- Bedroom hygiene: make sure you are not on a screen last thing at night or first thing in the morning
- Listen to your thoughts: if your time online is starting to feel negative – take a break!
- Only follow/subscribe to/befriend people that bring positives to your online experience
- Timed sessions: identify your most visited apps and set timers on them so you can be more present
- Switch notifications off. Use your phone when you want to; you do not have to respond straight away
- Set boundaries: mute/delete/block accounts that are no longer beneficial for you – your wellbeing is a priority!
Phones, apps and consoles are designed to be fun, distracting and addictive. So if you have made the decision to manage how much time is spent on devices, or even certain apps, you will see many benefits! Getting into good habits from the get go when you get your first phone can be helpful, but it is never too late to form new habits and break negative ones.
Many devices now have built-in ways of helping your control and monitor how often you, or your child spends online. The links below show you how to use these features.
- Screen Time (for iOS users)
- Manage your child’s screen time (for Android users)
- The best apps to help you manage your screen time