It’s never a good idea to spend so much time doing one thing that you ignore other aspects of your life. This applies as much to studying, playing sport and spending time with a boyfriend as it does to watching tv or spending time online. The best approach is to do all of these things but in moderation. Try to maintain a balance.
The lure of your mobile phone, tablet or computer is strong. It’s how you keep in touch with friends, where you watch vloggers and videos, where you do research for school work, where you play games, and all this can be extremely addictive. The internet and social media are amazing tools for life but don’t let them rule it.
Relying on social media for a lot of your social interaction can lead to a fear of missing out (worrying that if you’re not constantly checking your phone you might miss something or that other people are having more fun than you) and this insecurity can lead to real anxiety. But you do not need to be in touch all the time. It is essential to have some time when you are not connected, when you can forget about school and relationships, and completely relax. You need time off; everyone needs time off.
If you find you’re spending most or all of your spare time online, it’s time to take action.
- Try to switch off for at least a few hours every day, particularly before you go to bed (screens affect your sleep).
- Spending time with friends in real life is much better than online.
- Tell a trusted adult if you have any worries about anything online.
- When you’re with other people (with friends, with family at mealtimes, etc) don’t constantly check your phone. Engage with the people you’re with.
- Do something else! Exercise, cook, paint, read a book …
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