According to the Internet Trends 2019 report by US analyst Mary Meeker, people now spend more time on the internet than ever before, with the average American user spending 6.3 hours online daily. That’s half an hour more than in 2017.
Over a quarter (26 per cent) of Americans indicate they are online almost “constantly”, over half that time (3.6 hours) is courtesy of mobile devices, while two hours per day is spent on desktop devices and 0.7 of an hour is spent on other connected devices.
That’s leading to a movement which sees many people trying to limit their digital media usage.
The report found 63 per cent of US adults were now trying to restrict their smart phone usage, compared to 47 per cent the year prior, and according to experts there are a host of simple ways to reduce that daily use.
These days there are a wealth of ways to simply track the screen time you engage in. From the screen Time app available on iPhone and iPad to Android equivalents like Digital Wellbeing, these apps are designed to give you an idea of where you spend your time when using devices.
The same apps can also allow you to set limits on how much you use services like Instagram, Facebook etc. Limits can be overridden if necessary, but provide a prompt that it’s time to log off and move along to something different.
Meanwhile, if you’re using your device for work, set a routine for how you go about your day and the tasks you handle.
That might mean you have set periods to check emails and respond, limit your social media usage, or have a dedicated time for returning phone calls.
This helps create a routine encouraging productivity and efficiency, rather than allowing you to get side-tracked with that quick check of the news or Facebook.
Although it’s tempting to be ‘always on’ and digitally available, do you really need those endless work emails streaming through to your phone?
By making a decision to check into your work email rather than having it constantly delivered directly to you, it helps you resist the urge to access your phone all the time and work outside hours.
Whether they’re from Facebook, email or text messages, notifications keep drawing your attention back to your device. Turning off notifications helps you check in only when you wish to rather than being distracted.
Your workday may mean you are constantly in front of a computer or device, but when it comes to home life, screen time is a choice.
Set specific times for when you watch TV, stream shows, or engage in gaming.
On that note, experts also suggest turning off the TV when you’re not watching rather than having it running constantly in the background.
A TV in the background acts as a temptation, luring you in to watch shows that you otherwise would have had little interest in.
Where possible, go old school. That means picking up a book rather than an e-reader, using hard copy recipes rather than a device and calling people or meeting with them instead of constantly texting or using social media.
When it comes to both work and home life, a routine can also assist in eliminating extra screen time. So, for example you might have set times where you watch TV at home, or set periods at work for specific digital tasks. In between you can enjoy set times for exercise, reading, cooking etc.
And, the longer you employ the routine, the more likely you are to feel less drawn to devices.
Most of us have a phone charger next to our bed, or enjoy the luxury of streaming TV as we go to sleep. But both of these encourage the use of devices when they’re not required.
Rather than watching TV in the bedroom, do it in the loungeroom as this ensures you switch off and make a concerted decision to go to sleep.
Meanwhile, the simple act of removing the phone charger from your bedroom ensures you aren’t bothered by notifications overnight and do not feel compelled to check in as often.
And why limit digital-free zones to the bedroom? Technology might be mobile, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it in every room of your workplace or home. Establish set digital zones or workspaces which you have to actively visit to engage in screen time.
This makes it far less tempting and easier to incorporate into a routine.
If you’re looking to set up workspaces or zones for your mobile devices including tablets and iPads, Bosstab has a large range of secure enclosures and stands available. You can peruse our range of tablet holders and iPad stands here.