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Would your grandma do digital fasts? The truth about screen time restrictions.
Since a few years, since computers and smartphones are really attractive and are making our life easier, there are people and articles telling us we should take time off away from our Internet devices and live in the real world. It has become trendy to take digital sabbaticals, information diets, media fasts… To what extent is it beneficial?
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Should we feel guilty for our screen time?
Don’t look at the screen all the time! What are you doing? Log out, go offline! Spend time without laptop and smartphone. Go for a walk!
You’ve heard it or read it. Thousand times. We’re encouraged to implement screen time restrictions by magazines, blogs, influencers…
But aren’t digital sabbaticals a contradiction to living our normal lives?
Because what an Internet fast really is? It’s giving up a tool that lets you do shopping, pay our bills, read interesting stuff, learn useful skills, send messages to our families and people with whom we do businesses. And it usually lets us do all these things from anywhere and in a shorter time that we’d need for it in the offline shop, bank, university or cafe (plus commuting).
Would your grandma do digital fasts?
Can you imagine, 100 years ago, people advising one another: think about organizing one day in a week in that way that you don’t go to any shop, don’t pay your bills, don’t read nor learn anything and don’t write letters?
I don’t think people were giving each other such advice.
Your grandma kept meeting people, going to a market, reading newspapers and paying what she had had to pay.
The Internet has taken over functions of many tools and institutions. I don’t go to post office if I want to contact my godmother living in Germany. I sit in front of my laptop and I write an email.
So don’t feel guilty for your screen time. The Internet IS making our lives simpler. If we use it and don’t let internet use us.
And by the way, you know what? In Poland, we go to bank only when we sign opening an account (though it can be done by courier as well) or taking a loan. We don’t use checkbooks, we don’t go to the bank… Our contact with money and banks is simple: ATMs, paying with card and transferring money online (salaries, shopping, bills, rent, loan payments).
So cut your internet use. If you want to have a hard life…
Final thoughts on screen time restrictions
I believe that the world has changed so much since we have the Internet that there is a border beyond which extreme limiting of doing things online makes our life more complicated.
Do digital sabbaticals if you need. They have their benefits. But my observations from last months and years show that what’s wise in life is finding the balance, the golden mean between extremes. Refusing internet use can lead to an as inefficient life as internet overuse leads to.
Have you found your balance in using new technologies in your life? If yes, how? Tell me in comments.
I’ve written: Slow Blogging
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