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Phones Off Fam On

There is an appalling epidemic on the rise; our inability to separate ourselves from our phones. Even in the presence of our family, we rarely see during the holidays we still choose to be on our phones than spend time with them. So the challenge is to put the phone down and spend some time in the real world.

The average American person in 2019 spends over 2 hours and 55 minutes on their phone every day; calculated to equal over 45 days of lost time out of their year.  In a study of Lakewood High School students, the average student spends over 5 hours on their phone daily. That’s devastating!

We spend over 76 days or 2.5 months snapping back and forth, instead of connecting to our loved ones in the real world. Debilitating our time, happiness, and connections with others.

Taking time to unplug this holiday season will greatly better your quality of social connections.  We may love communicating with friends and family via social media, but you can’t feel a personal connection through a screen, and “lol” can’t replace the sound of real laughter. So why would we choose “FaceTime” over actual face time? Spending real-time with those you love most during the holidays will strengthen relationships and reestablish the reason why you love them in the first place.

I asked Jay Schmoldt, a LHS student with an average of 7 hours and 23 minutes, about his phone habits:

“When I was asked about how much time I spend on my phone, I was really ashamed to admit all the worthless time I dedicate to my phone. I really need to get my head out of my phone, and enjoy what’s around me, but it’s hard when that’s the norm.”

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SCREEN TIME:

  1. Simply add time limits on your phone by app or in settings: Teenagers should be limited to a maximum of 2 hours of screen time daily; we have enough work to do to fill our time without ay distractions.
  2. Phone free meals: When at dinner (or any meal) simply leave the phones out of the dining room. Dinner is time for real connection; there is no need for television or screens at the eating place to add to our screen time when you can deepen your connection with those around you.
  3. No phones in the bedrooms: Bedrooms are for recharging and to reach are needed 8-10 hours of sleep leave your phones and other devices out of your resting place! According to NCBI, increased night-time phone use directly associated with “increased externalizing behavior and decreased self-esteem and coping.”

The challenge is to unplug this holiday season and soak up the world around us. Disconnect from your mobile devices to be able to connect the way humans are designed to.

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