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Temi Olajide: Balancing Family Time with Screen Time Since We’re All Staying Safe At Home

When you are not working, limit your online time by not taking your phone/computer/ipad into the bedroom or living room. You can also disable notifications for social media platforms so that you’re not tempted to check your phone.

Temi Olajide

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It is no news that social media and the internet have come to stay. As amazing as the internet is, it has completely changed our lives –  affecting everything, including the quality and frequency of time spent with our family.

Now, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families have been in isolation to reduce the spread of the virus. While many people are having an amazing time bonding with their family, others are looking to their gadgets for entertainment – unfortunately at the detriment of their family and loved ones.

Even if your business is 100% online, there are benefits of having a proper structure in place,  else you’ll realise that you are online 24/7 and spending too much time online can have negative mental and physical effects on you.

According to research, spending too much time online has both short and long term effects on your health including anxiety, sleeping disorders, depression, isolation, and feelings of guilt. It can also cause headaches, weight gain, and blurred or strained vision.

Spending quality time with one’s family is critical for building strong family ties, creating memories that last a lifetime and creating an environment that helps in coping with challenges, inculcate family values, fill kids with confidence, and much more.

What does balancing online time with family time mean?

Balancing online time with family time simply means not allowing technology and the internet to take over your life or that of your kids. It means creating ground rules/schedules that state when, where and duration your kids – or you – can use your gadgets before they are put down for other activities in the family. This also means not spending more time than necessary online.

How much time is too much to spend online?

This varies from person to person but there are some common things that serve as a guide, like the quality of the content or activities you are engaging with online and being aware of how your time online may be affecting your friendships, your family, health, and work or study. If your online time is affecting any of these areas of your life, then it is likely that you need to cut back on the amount of time you spend on the internet.

It is easy to get drowned online, but one can make a conscious effort to spend less time online and more time with family and friends.

To help you manage the time spent online:

Limit your time there if you’re not working

When you are not working, limit your online time by not taking your phone/computer/ipad into the bedroom or living room. You can also disable notifications for social media platforms so that you’re not tempted to check your phone.

Set a timer

It is okay to surf the net, socialise on Facebook, Instagram and so on, but it is also important to find a balance to avoid spending all day on these platforms. Setting a limit of how much time per day you will spend online and following it religiously will go a long way in helping you manage the time you spend online.

Come up with another hobby for boredom

Many people turn to the internet and social media to kill boredom. If you come up with other reasonable and valuable hobbies, it will help you reduce the amount of time you spend online.

Create a mental picture of the demerits of excessive use of the internet

When you understand the cons of spending more time online than necessary, it will help you to always apply caution when the need arises.

Have any tips for managing your time online? Feel free to share.

Temi Olajide is a Certified Child Sleep / Potty training Consultant and Child Psychologist.Co-founder of Association of Child Sleep Consultants of Nigeria and a member of International Association of Child Sleep Consultants.Founder of Mummyclinicc, an online platform that provides strategies & result driven solutions to the challenges of child rearing and helps mothers to successfully combine the requirements of life and motherhood while responding correctly to the peculiarities of the digital age. Temi is the author of Wi-Fi Kids and Analog Parents, a comprehensive book that equips parents on how to raise well-rounded kids in the digital age. www.mummyclinicc.com,Instagram @mummyclinicc

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