Strategies For Teenagers To Limit Screen Time


Kristyn Dentremont

Graphic/ Kristyn Dentremont

Social media and the use of phones has become an increasing addiction for Generation Z. Especially throughout the pandemic, the usage of phones and screen time has reached the point of addiction. It can be a struggle to break the habit of always resorting back to the phone when bored, but there are numerous ways one can spend more time engaged without the phone handy. Here are five strategies to break one’s phone addiction. 

The first strategy is very simple: disable app notifications. Without having the constant ding or icon pop up on the lockscreen, one is more likely to stay productive in what they are doing. It can be tempting to see a notification pop up, especially because of the suspense it brings; what or who is trying to get in touch? By just removing notifications on the settings app, productivity rates would most likely increase. This could include just pressing the Do Not Disturb button to not receive any notifications, or turning off notifications for certain apps. 

Setting boundaries and establishing a certain amount of screen time is the next approach. Allowing oneself to set aside the screen for x amount of time a day will not only help the addiction, but it can also make one’s schedule more organized. For example, when doing homework, putting the phone in a location out of sight for maybe two hours can increase focus and productivity. Starting off with something small like this is a step in the right direction for less screen time. This could also include using the screen time feature on Iphones. This feature allows one to set a certain amount of time used each day per app, and blocks one from the app when the time is up.

Another hack to make the phone less interesting is to turn on grayscale mode. This mode turns the phone from bright and colorful to completely gray. Even when trying to use apps, the apps will also be gray. This allows for less attraction to social media and prevents dependency. Grayscale mode was created as a strategy for phone addiction. All that has to be done for this is turning the Color Filter switch off in Settings on an Iphone. 

Aside from actual phone settings itself, practicing mindfulness is another great way to detach from the phone. Being mindful means to focus one’s attention solely on one thing, and becoming very aware of the way one feels in that moment. Meditation and yoga are great examples of this. Focusing the body and mind on one thing at a time is difficult, but ultimately shifts one’s attention from all the thoughts in the brain to only one. Mindfulness is healthy for both the mind and soul. 

Finally, another practice one can do to take the mind off of social media is getting more into reading and journaling. Not only do both of these sharpen the mind, they also fill one’s time with reading something that is not on a screen. Reading and writing for school are much different than leisurely doing these activities. Recreationally reading and writing allows one to venture away from the screen and lean towards the physical paper itself. 

  The use of phones has become an increasing addiction over the past few years for teenagers. These five easy tips can help anyone who wants to get off of social media more, and back into engaging in person.