Teen Tip Tuesday (by Kelly M) – Screen Time: How Much is Too Much? *Take The Challenge

1 Aug

Currently, technology is expanding in ways never seen. Computers that were once the size of whole rooms now fit in the palm of your hand. Microchips are getting smaller and smaller with ever-increasing amounts of storage space. With all these advances, do we ever look at the negative effects of too much screen time? Do we want to? Are we thinking about the effects it has on children?

5 Ways to Reduce Device Time with Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

For me, screen time can interfere with chores, while my allotted screen time slowly shrinks. It is a cycle that I have gone through many, many times (to my mother’s dismay).

Kids on their smartphones, millennials on laptops, and couch potatoes bingeing past seasons of current shows. This is now the way of life. Scary, isn’t it?

Want to avoid this? Do not worry!

5 Helpful Ways to Easily Reduce Device Time in Your Home

  1. Read Books, Comics, or Magazines (Just Read!)

That’s right, even comics!  The reading of printed gives your brain a break from the blue light from your phone. Plus, there are thousands of books in hundreds of genres, so there is always plenty to choose from.

From Shakespeare to Charles Dickens, from The Jungle Book to Sherlock Holmes, there are millions of great stories. Hence, entire buildings full of books sit waiting for you. (They are called libraries, remember those?)

5 Ways to Reduce Screen Time in Teens by Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

My favorite series is Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. Will, a teenage orphan, is chosen by an organization of archers to defend the land. Mr. Flanagan has written thirteen books in the series as well as two other book series.


  1. Interact with People (Longer than Three Seconds)

It is easy to ignore people when you are using your favorite app. It is rude to ignore people. Parents may find that when eyes are on the screen, ears do not work. (Well, they work… just not as quickly)

Talking with people improves your social skills and builds important relationships. On the other hand, your phone only helps with dual hand-eye coordination, high scores, and texting. None of which is essential to your survival in the real world.

It is easy today to forget about people around you. It was harder before smartphones. Gasp! A time before smartphones? Ask your parents, they know what I mean.


  1. Limit Screen Time During Dinner

Oh, great. Here it comes. The validation your parents have been looking for.

“But why do I have to give up my phone for dinner?” Not just because Mom and Dad say “No.”

Dinner time is for two things:  Family and Food. Your online social life is (sadly) not one of those.

Do not think you are the only one affected by this “no device” rule. Even the late and great Steve Jobs had a rule of no electronics at the family table. (Validation for your parents just went up!)

The American Psychological Association (APA) completed a recent survey titled “Stress in America.” It found “94 percent of parents say that they take at least one action to manage their child’s technology usage… such as not allowing cell phones at the dinner table.”



  1. Your Body Position and Posture Do Matter

Using your phone (iPad, tablet, Android) to text your friends is great. Getting ‘text neck‘ or having ‘iPosture’ is not.

Text Neck and iPosture causes aches and pains everywhere, notably in your neck and back. Therefore, doctors are now questioning society’s overuse of devices. Now when you say, “Ow, my (enter inflamed body part here). Why does it hurt?” You know what the problem may be.

There is a device which helps you correct this type of bad posture. It is called iPosture (how ironic) and briefly vibrates when it senses your body slouching! Awesome, right? It does cost $74.95! You might want to secure that babysitting job after all!

When at the computer, sit with your back straight and shoulders back. Your wrists need to be parallel to the floor, not flopped & bent down on the table. You may need a lap desk if you are not sitting at a desk or table. If you play piano, you know what “wrists parallel to the floor” means.


  1. Set Timers to Hold You Accountable

Have you ever gone to Facebook? You log in to do one thing, ONE thing, only to realize it has been TWO HOURS since your mom told you to get your homework done.

One method to deter laziness, as suggested to me by a good friend, is setting a timer. Get into the habit of setting a timer each time you open Facebook, Twitter, or any app. Set it for fifteen minutes. The timer will go off before you fall into the seemingly unforgiving cross-hairs of mom’s wrath.

Social media has its place AFTER homework. You don’t want to get on mom or dad’s bad side. Consequently, ask your parents to help you find a suitable discipline if you find difficulty keeping to the timer method.


Get off that phone!


Now, this is not the end (of the post, yes, it is.) Now you must apply these methods into your life. Yes, you. Though it could not hurt to get your friends off their phones, too. When you want to hang out, call them (briefly) and have them come on over. Make it a party! Bake cookies, get out the chips and salsa and make it a good time. (Great, now I am hungry.)

Now you know 5 helpful ways to easily reduce device time. Pass it on, it’s the friendly thing to do!

Kelly the Gluten Free Eagle


Teen Expert: Kelly H. Milligan is The Gluten Free Eagle.  A Gluten Free, Amateur “Ham” Operator, Eagle Scout, small-scale miner, and writer.  He can be found blogging at www.GlutenFreePreppers.com and www.KellyHMilligan.com (a work in progress).

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