Finding Balance

Written by Jo Langford, M.A.

Balance your online life with real-time, positive human contact, socially responsible and age appropriate activities, relationships, and physical exercise. Use the Take Control Toolkit, courtesy of the Center for Humane Technology, and read more below for simple tips and tools for finding a healthy screen time balance.

Social Media
  • Commit with friends to spend a certain amount of time together IRL (in real life), not just liking each other’s feeds.
  • Turning off notifications for your social media (or all but a handful of followers) will reduce the pull of your media.
  • Consider removing your most used apps from your device for a few days or for specific days each week to give your mind a break.
Screen Time
  • Though phones can do everything, it helps to use separate devices such as cameras, calculators, and alarm clocks.
  • Plug your devices in at night in a different room than your bedroom.
  • You will sleep better if you avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Write down what you accomplished or what fun thing(s) you did when you were off your screen, to reinforce the benefits to yourself.
  • Exercise your brain in other ways such as reading, art, sports, hobbies, etc.
Gaming
  • Make gaming a team sport as much as possible, playing with friends/family reduces the harm.
  • Reduce the urge to “wake and bake” with games — let your brain fully wake up and adjust before you go online.
  • Avoid gaming right before a social engagement (meals with friends/family) or any new learning (e.g., school work) to ensure you are well-regulated and ready to focus.