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The Importance of Having Device, Screen-Free Time

By Fredrica Syren:

Be honest — how often have you looked at a screen today? These days, it seems we all are glued to our computers, phones and tablets. And I’m as guilty of it as anyone. I see parents at the park totally occupied with their phones while their kids are playing by themselves. I see parents walking with strollers while looking at a phone. Myself, I look at my phone when I wake up and sometimes it’s the last thing I do before I go to sleep. It’s pretty frightening that we feel we have less time these day but, of course, we’re busy checking out what the rest of the world is doing all the time.

Through my job, I do communicate via email and text, so now I have found myself accessible all the time. I realized that I had started having sleeping problems because if I woke up middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I would check my phone to find what time it was. Then I would see that there were work texts or email, so I would start responding to them. Afterward, I would have problems going back to sleep. Finally, I started leaving the phone in kitchen to reduce my own device time.

Because of IPhones and IPads, we’re almost never off from work anymore, so finding a healthy balance between work and home/personal life has become a struggle. A survey conducted by Deloitte in 2016 found that here in the U.S. alone we check our phones about 46 times a day at least, and most of this happens during our leisure time while we’re with family and friends or watching TV. It’s hard to avoid because our phones are always with us wherever we go.

Here are some good reasons for reducing our device time:

  1. Lets us use old fashioned handwriting
  2. Calms the mind
  3. Encourages better sleep—As I said, not worrying about work or what’s happening in the world makes you sleep way better.
  4. Better eating habits—It’s like eating in front of the TV: you don’t notice or even enjoy what you’re eating and digestion might suffer.
  5. Better communication—I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had a text message or email that has been misunderstood. Oral communication is a much better way to deal with things rather than, let’s say, Facebook or Instagram or texting.
  6. It might save your life—How many people have gotten hurt in traffic because of using their devices?
  7. Better eyesight—Yes, prolonged use of mobiles and IPads may harm your eyesight.
  8. Better relationship with your kids—It makes me so sad when I see children playing alone in the park while their parent is glued to the phone. Kids naturally want your attention all day and, in my opinion, they deserve it.


About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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