Modify your screen use

Screen-Free Week logoHow much time do you spend on screens — your smartphone, your laptop/computer, your television, your game devices, your tablet, and even your digital watch.

This is Screen-Free Week (April 30 – May 6), an annual event that encourages us to “swap digital entertainment for the joys of life beyond the screen.”

The event began in 1994 as TV Turnoff Week, encouraging families, schools and communities to watch less television and spend more time connecting with people and pursuing physical activity.

Screen-Free Week provides us the opportunity to consider how we might modify our screen use beyond this one week.

  • Are we distracted when we drive by our smartphone or by our car’s digital system that is reading our text messages to us?
  • When we dine with family or friends, are we all on our phones or watching TVs in the restaurant rather than talking with each other?
  • Have we let the evening slip away scrolling through social media messages?
  • Do we miss important information in conversations, meetings or classes because we’ve been checking our smartphone or laptop?
  • Is our sleep interrupted because we check messages or news during the night?
  • Do we spend too much time on screens and not enough time walking, cycling or other forms of physical fitness?

So here are my suggestions for how to create your own screen-wise approach.

  1. Select one or two steps you want to take to adjust your screen use to lead to goals you want to reach, such as reading more books (which
    live oak

    Take a break from screen use and go for a walk outdoors. (Taking a photo with your smartphone of nature you see during your walk is OK.)

    could be on screen) or going for a walk rather than spending as much time on social media.

  2. Get buy-in from others about your planned screen-use changes. For example, if you plan to turn off your phone for meals, meetings or classes, you can alert those who might be messaging you so they are aware of your plan and don’t think you are ignoring them.
  3. Prepare for your screen-use changes. If you’ve decided you’d like to refrain from screen-use at meals, for instance, you may need to sell the concept with the others you are dining with – and select a restaurant that doesn’t have televisions on every wall.

Please offer your tips for modifying screen use or share a success story. Now, I’ve got to log off and go for a run.


  1. Susan Riggs · · Reply

    The best thing I’ve done to reduce screen time is to start a regular exercise program. I know, hard to believe, isn’t it? I do yoga one day a week and do TRX twice a week. I really like doing TRX, and love the way I feel when finished. It’s never too late to get moving!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you on finding an exercise program that works for you! I agree with you that having an exercise program pulls me into activity and away from screens.


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