Compare the Market’s Guide to Screen Addictions and Responsible Digital Behaviours

This guide by Holly Niblett of Compare the Market might help.

First things first, do you know why you end up staring at a screen? More often than not, we now turn to our phones, tablets, laptops and TVs out of habit. Holly Niblett, Compare the Market’s head of digital, advises that one of the first healthy habits to embrace is planning. If you and your family can schedule dedicated parts of your day which don’t involve a screen, you’ll be reducing the amount of time you just end up in front of one.

Some tips include:

* Restricted use in the morning. Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock. That way you don’t even need to pick it up and you can have some time first thing – ideally an hour – without a screen.
* Taking a proper lunch break. Do you use a screen for work? If so, having a lunch break away from any screen (including your phone) is a great idea. Plan a walk and just enjoy some fresh air or do an errand.
* Meal times with your family or friends. If you’re spending time with your family, it’s nice to be present. It sounds like something your parents will have told you as a teenager, but enjoying a dinner without devices is good for everyone involved.
* Avoiding screens before bed. Looking at a screen too close to bedtime can impact how easily you’ll fall asleep, so it’s a key part of the day to cut down on your usage.

Understanding Screen Addiction and Responsible Digital Use�

This guide offers:

* Informative insights into increased screen use during COVID-19 - with phone usage up by about 30% from pre-pandemic levels.
* Step-by-step advice on how to take control of your screen use by identifying triggers, scheduling screen time, and setting restrictions on your phone.
* Useful information on digital detoxers and dieters: 7 in 10 people have tried to moderate their digital consumption in some way, with 37% deleting an app and 27% turning off notifications.
* Quotes from experts appear throughout, along with useful links for further reading on the topic. What to do about it You can influence how much your devices influence you and your family. Being aware of what’s going on is a good first step. You can then consider:
* Turning your screens into black and white. This can minimise how stimulating and attention-grabbing a device is, meaning you’re less likely to be drawn to or distracted by it. When to tackle digital use problems Are you now wondering whether you’re spending too much time on your device? Signs you may have a problem include if it’s:
* interfering with your work or the kids' school life * become a negative in your relationships * encouraging you and the children to sit around more
* affecting your sleep
* making you feel anxious or unhappy It will take some commitment, but it is possible to tackle some of the main issues associated with excessive digital use.

But remember that it can take anything between a few weeks to many months to form new habits – so keep persisting.