Ways to Reduce Screen Time
Have you ever caught your kids up at 2 am playing Xbox on a school night? Or have you ever gone to bed at 10 pm and watched a few TikToks, when suddenly you hear birds chirping and you need to get ready for work? It’s happened to everyone.
Taking back control of your screen time can be challenging, but there are ways of making it much easier. Whether you have tech-free times in the house, parental control setup on your kid’s gadgets or you even unplug the router at bedtime – here’s a handful of handpicked ways to solve screentime and get you back in control of your time!
1. Your Router’s Pause Function
It’s actually becoming more common that routers have a Wi-Fi Pause feature! This allows you to select what devices, like phones and game consoles, you want to be cut off from the wi-fi at certain times – so you can guarantee that your kids won’t be playing Among Us after you send them to bed!
There are also third-party programs that achieve the same effect – wifi-blocker is an app that lets you manage wi-fi connected devices and put block out times on them.
This solution is good as it provides you a flexible and automated solution to screen time. The adults can continue to use their own devices to watch Netflix, even after the kids have gone to bed. We recommend checking your router’s online manual to see if it has the Wi-Fi Pause feature, otherwise, you can use a third-party app!
2. Use your device’s Screen Time features
Most of us are guilty of mindlessly scrolling on our phones. Most mobile phones and gaming consoles come with a Screen Time feature (Screen Time for iPhone, Digital Wellbeing for Android) that lets you see what apps/games you’re spending the most time on.
You can use this feature to challenge yourself and your friends, have a game where the person who made the biggest reduction at the end of the month gets to choose a dinner night. You can also use this feature to help yourself see what apps are eating up your time the most, and maybe set limitations on the apps.
To setup Screen Time–
1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
2. Tap Turn On Screen Time (or Digital Wellbeing on Android).
3. Tap Continue.
4. Select your apps and choose your screen time limit (eg. 1 hour)
3. Setup a Tech-Free Zone
We mentioned earlier having tech-free zones, these could be the dinner table, the lounge room, etc. This is a technique typically used by parents trying to keep their kids from becoming tech zombies during family time.
Tech-Free Zones are a less concrete method, but let’s be in more control over screen time, rather than using a program to do it.
Should all of this fail, just think back to what people did before mobile phones and computers. Perhaps pick up a hobby – mine is hiking! At the end of the day, the easiest solution to too much screen time is simply leaving the tech behind (when necessary). Go to the gym, take up crocheting, join a local yoga group, literally anything to get you away from the screen.
How do you manage your screen time? Comment below your favorite methods!