Written by Sarah
Screen Break: Why It’s Time To Look Up
It’s second nature to check your phone every two minutes, but how much screen times does that add up to in a day, a week or a year? On average those aged between 16-22 spend 10.2 hours online every single day. As students that’s not the only screen you’re in contact with either – you’re writing essays, taking notes in lectures and watching online tutorials almost every single day, so it’s more important than ever to give yourself a break, but if you need more convincing you might want to read on…
To help you sleep better
You might’ve noticed that using your phone before bed makes you more restless at night, but research shows it’s a lot more complex than that with direct links between phone usage and insomnia. And it’s a pretty simple thing to fix – just leave your phone alone for an hour before you go to bed. If you use your phone for an alarm just swap it for a traditional alarm clock or put it the other side of your room (it will stop you from pressing snooze all morning too!).
To be more present in real life
We all get so carried away taking pictures and videos of everything, that sometimes we forget to enjoy ourselves. You might be so worried about getting that ‘food porn’ shot that your food goes cold and you don’t even enjoy it, or you spend so much time filming at gig that you forget to even dance. Of course take a snap of things you want to remember, but then put your phone away and live in the moment.
To improve your mental health
Most of the time you’re on your phone, you’ll be on social media channels which can contribute to low self-esteem and anxiety. As much as you might know pictures on Instagram don’t always show someone’s ‘true’ self it can be hard not to compare yourself – or worry about raking up the likes yourself. So take a social media break (you deserve it!), and without those apps you’ll be less tempted to keep checking every 2 minutes too!
“Those aged between 16-22 spend 10.2 hours online every single day”
To focus better
When you’re trying to write an essay or get your head down, and get a Whatsapp message or notification it’s hard to ignore it and then you enter a black hole. It takes you twice as long to do anything when your phone is buzzing away, so put it on silent, put it in your bag and leave it alone while you’re trying to get things done – you won’t believe the results!
To protect your eyes
We wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from UV rays, but most of us don’t think twice about the damage screens are causing to our eyes. One of the most common problems associated with excessive amounts of screen time is eye strain, which in turn can cause upper back and neck pain, as well as headaches, dry eyes and tiredness. So maybe just step away every now and then (it’s recommended that every 20 minutes, you give your eyes a 20 second break), or think about getting some computer glasses to help give your eyes a rest!
At The Project at Hoxton we believe in the importance of taking a screen break, so we’ve created some spaces to help you switch off including ‘Relax‘, an area with no WIFI to help you slow down and centre yourself away from the pressures of student life.