Swapping screen time for real time

Three separate moments in the last week have led me to think about the all-conquering nature of ‘screen time’ and why it matters.

The first was a talk by the brilliant David Bond, who plays a starring role in the film ‘Project Wild Thing’ (which premieres in June) looking at why kids have lost touch with nature, does this matter ( short answer is ‘yes’) and how you go about reconnecting kids and nature. One of the big issues is the amount of time kids spend staring at screens.

The second was during a lunch with a friend when he said that friends of his son, who is ten, were getting iPads for Christmas.

The third was when the Comedian Miranda Hart expressed concern about the impact of screen time (spending most of their time glued to smartphones) on the next generations ability to be creative and just day dream.

For me there is a common thread. For large chunks of our life we’re ‘plugged in’ always checking our emails, seeing what the latest post is on Facebook or keeping an eye on a bargain on eBay.

Screen time has begun to take up large chunks of our day. I hold my hand up as I spend too much time looking at my smartphone or sat glued to a laptop. Even writing this blog I’m looking at a tiny screen while my kids play nearby.

And though the virtual world has given us loads of benefits we should perhaps begin to ration our screen time for our own benefit. We should rediscover the joy of face to face conversation, reading a good book or spending time in the outdoors. Perhaps now is the time to write a short manifesto about this.

At work most of us spend the vast majority of our day staring at a screen. Lets try and break free; talk to someone in the office instead of emailing or give someone a call. This real time can help you in the creativity department.

Technology has enriched and improved our lives beyond recognition. But we need to get the balance right otherwise screens of all sizes will come to dominate our lives, taking over from
the moments that build a life time of memories.

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