Q&A Part 1: How to Keep Screen Time in Check

You guys have some great questions! Today I’m starting part one of the Q&A series. Here’s the question I’m tackling: How do you keep screen time in check?

Oh girls. This question. It’s a big one and it’s SO important. I’ve  been thinking so much about this lately and trying to listen to my heart on this issue. See, I don’t think there’s one easy answer or one right way to do it, but keeping lots of unplugged time in our lives is so important! I’m crazy enough to think we can still stay connected with our friends, run successful businesses, and use social media in a very positive way, while still limiting ourselves.

So here’s what’s been on my heart regarding screen time:

I try to remember that I want to be part of a generation who does lots of incredible things no one sees. There are so many beautiful moments that happen in our lives and we do not need to share them all. Also, we should NOT be doing wonderful things, simply to share them. For example….lets talk hiking. Do we go outside and see beautiful things only to photograph them and share them? Or are we doing amazing things, sometimes taking pictures and sharing them with the right intent? Know your heart and your intent. If your intent is good, then share away! Inspire others! For me, I feel very strongly that I want to see the people in my generation live beautiful lives, because it’s RIGHT, not because they get lots of likes.

•It’s all about loving yourself enough to do what’s best for you. Sometimes we put the kids to bed and then I just flop down with my phone and watch all the Insta-stories I missed from being offline most of the day and you know what? It doesn’t drag me down. I love it. Then other times, I find myself watching or reading something that starts to just give me that icky feeling…..that feeling I get when I know I’m comparing myself to other people or thinking thoughts that tear me down. You know what I  mean, right?  You can feel when social media is dragging you down and if you’re like me, sometimes it’s completely harmless and other times, it just needs to be turned off. So, in short…..love yourself enough to put your phone away when it’s not good for you. •I’m inspired to not be online very much in front of  my kids because I want them to live a life of creativity and focus. Sure they play games and watch TV, but we all need time offline and being an example is the most powerful parenting tool.

I can’t pour from an empty vase. I’ve personally learned that I can’t write well or be very effective with my time on the computer, if I’m mindlessly scrolling too  much. This is just what works for me….but I need time offline where I get filled up with what’s really happening in the world.

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
― Mary Oliver 

I think sometimes we’re scared that if we aren’t connected all the time, we’ll become disconnected. Instead, I think we’ll become more firmly connected to the reality in our lives and then if we do choose to write or whatever, we’ll have so much more to say, since we were truly paying attention. 

•If you’re going offline for a few hours or a day or whatever and you’re worried about forgetting emails or something, make notes for later! I keep a piece of paper next to my computer and I make myself notes for after the kids are in bed or during quiet time etc. As a person who writes, when inspiration hits, I have to take advantage of it! Sometimes I quickly dictate and entire post to a note on my phone, if it comes to me at a time where I can’t sit down and write (it’s always when I’m making lunch or something!).

The bottom line is we  need to love ourselves enough to limit screen time and value the real life relationships we have. I’ve learned to limit my screen time because I don’t want my kids to remember me as the mom who was always on her phone, I don’t want my friends to think I only hike with them so I can post about it and I want to be highly effective in my life and I can’t do that if I’m always staring at a screen. But yes….I do love the ways we can use social media for good! It’s truly all about balance.

Hope this answers the question! Come back soon for Part 2. 

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.