Phones, tablets, even smart watches; screens are everywhere you look.

Can one still live without technology and its’ beloved screen?

We should ask ourselves the question why technology was invented in the first place.

The purpose of technology is to serve a human need and/or solve a human problem.

Essentially, technology was built to facilitate everyday lives and to automate generic, daily tasks. Sounds perfect in theory, but what we a humans failed to consider, are the negative effects technology has on our lives. 

Even more so, we all have become one way or another a slave to technology, whereby technology serves us less, rather it controls us more.

Addiction to screen time particularly is all around and continues to rise.

Multiple Research Studies have shown that not only the number of users across online platforms, is increasing, but as well the average time spent across screens. The exponential screen time is not only prominent against a younger demographic, but across all age brackets, especially kids, who are replacing play time with mainly video and/or games binge watching.

If we zoom into our MENA Region, KSA, UAE & Egypt markets are within the top 20 ranked countries globally, with the highest screen time, averaging up to 9 hours/day, which is not even work related! The main time spent across screens, is behind social media, gaming, browsing websites and/or video chatting. There also appears to be a direct link between countries with more severe climate conditions, so people enjoying more indoor vs. outdoor driven activities, such as for the Middle East, LATAM and Asian regions. 

Besides reduced social connections, there are much more other negative effects to excessive screen time, that we might not all be aware of, as per the latest research findings:

  • Lack of physical activity due to dormant consumption of digital content, which can cause obesity and/or weight gain.
  • Emotional health can be hampered with, and can trigger depression, mood swings, or anxiety when you don’t have your device at hand 24/7.
  • Screen time at night can trigger sleep deprivation due to lowered melatonin production, a chemical that makes you sleep faster, in response to darkness.

As per a recent study conducted by UNICEF, babies, and young children, can lack social and cognitive skills as babies still learn the most from human interactions. As it was stated “you get genius learnings from a human living being, and zero learnings from a machine”.

When we look at younger kids and/or young adults, the excessive usage of social media and technology greatly impacts their perception of reality perception. Values being portrayed virtually and/or digitally are being adapted/taken over as is, whereas real-time family values and/or even family relationships, are getting deteriorated. Additionally, young kids enjoy much less imagination and/or the ability to “entertain” themselves, by themselves, without any screens and/or tech tools.

Inwardly, if we look at ourselves as adults, we are all guilty of the tech pleasures anytime, anywhere. How often does it happen over dinner and/or a coffee catchup whereby mobile phones pop up for quick check-ins? Yet can we still fight this new reality?

I personally believe that, in life, it’s all about balance.

Today’s technology advancements will only accelerate and will become more sophisticated and all-encompassing. However, we are not machines or robots. We have a mind of ourselves, and we can take back control. Life is short and we should all try to make the best out of every day. Social connections or interactions shouldn’t be taken for granted, as it can be interrupted at any point of time in our lives, completely unplanned. 

We can all follow some useful tips and steps to balance our screen time with the everyday real world that is in front of our eyes! 😊

  • Time your screen time; it’s that simple. When you limit your screen time, you will limit viewing irrelevant content that has no added value to your everyday life.
  • Bedtime? no screentime: read a book and/or write down your thoughts of the day instead of screen usage; it will drastically aid in sleeping faster and more sound.
  • Don’t be online, be active instead: focus your efforts more behind physical activities vs. passive led activities to feel energized and rejuvenated.
  • Mute to Socialize: during dinners, catch-ups with family and/or friends, it is recommended to completely hide your screens and devices, whilst muting calls and/or texts, so that you can focus on being in the moment!

Let’s all use technology, going forward, only to facilitate & make our lives more efficient, so we can improve the quality of our personal lives and human relationships!