With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are forced to remain indoors as much as we can.
We can still go outside, but many activities that we always took for granted are not possible or are organized in such a way that there is a maximum amount of people.
This means the majority of our time we are spending indoors in front of a screen, whether that’s a smartphone, tv, or laptop.
No wonder why people ask: is it okay that I’m on my screen so much?
We tend to feel guilty that we spend so much time on our screens while we await this pandemic to end.
My answer is: it’s fine that you’re using your screens a lot more.
We are living in unprecedented times, and it is obvious why we use our screens more often.
We communicate with people we cannot meet due to the pandemic, we are on our screens for work, for our studies etc.
So “is it okay I use my screens so much” is not the most important question anymore.
The most important questions are:
How and why are you using your screens?
To start with why:
Why is it important to be in front of your screen at that moment? What triggered you?
What activities are you doing on your device? What are you watching? What are you doing?
The other question is how:
In what way are you on your screen? Are you enjoying it?
Are your children and spouse okay with that? Are you okay with that? (if you’re honest about it.)
Is the screen time agreed (according to a family plan)? Or are you on your screen in secrecy?
I also noticed that my overall screen time has increased due to the pandemic.
Some days my use can be “extreme”.
When I’m zooming or speaking to a friend on WhatsApp for example, it can last for at least 2 hours.
And that’s just that one activity. So at the end of that day, the amount of accumulated screen time can be pretty shocking!
It’s okay, I forgive myself. Screens have their advantages as we all know.
What’s important, is that when you spend 2 hours on your screen, you know why and you know exactly what you’ve been doing.
It’s important that you don’t wake up after a 2-hour trance where you were lost in the online bottomless vortex asking yourself: how is it possible 2 hours have passed!? What happened!?
So forgive yourself when you spend a lot of time on your screens.
Just make sure that this is not impacting your relationships, wellbeing, health, household rules, work and ambitions negatively.
Why and how: keep both questions in mind.