Jeremy Edge, LPC
Are Screens Adding Value to Your Life?
It can be easy to think screens are bad. They need to be avoided unless you want to become addicted. And at times problematic screen use happens and needs to be addressed. However, many times screens are great. Screens have the potential to help us, improve our well-being, and add incredible value to our lives.
Are screens adding value to your life? Here are some questions to help you answer that for yourself or a loved one.
1. Are screens helping or hurting your relationships?
Look at the relationships around you. Are your devices getting in the way or enhancing those connections?
Are you constantly checking your phone when you’re with friends? Are you unable to stay engaged with your friends or family because you would rather be on your device? Do you miss out on small talk with your co-workers because you’re checking your social media profile?
If so, your screen use may not be adding value to your life.
However, screens can bring people together. Are you using your screens to get to know others on a deeper level? Are you using technology to plan time together and are fully engaged with each other when y’all meet? Do you bond with others by talking about video games or online activities? Do you have fun with your friends on and offline?
If so, then screen use could be adding value to your life.
2. Are your screens helping or hurting your work?
Whether at your career or school, are screens adding value to your work? Do screens help you improve productivity and efficiency? Are screens helping you increase your work output? Can you accomplish more with screens then you would be able to without? Are they helping you learn, explore, and create?
If so, then screens are adding value to your work-life.
The opposite can happen though. Are screens distracting you from your work? Do you have a hard time completing assignments and your work is sloppy? Are you scattered because you can’t focus? Are you less productive and efficient thanks to screens? Are you having a harder time learning, exploring, and creating due to screen use?
If devices keep us from completing our best work, then they probably are not adding value to our work-life.
3. Are screens helping or hurting our mental and physical health?
There are over 300,000 health apps available. Devices like the Apple watch and Fitbit help us focus on and improve our health. Apps can help us manage anxiety through guided meditation or improve our fitness goals through plans and tracking. They can also be a time suck.
Do you use technology to enhance your mental and physical health? Are your screens helping you reach your fitness goals? Is your overall stress and anxiety lowered due to health-conscious apps?
By now you know where this is going…
Let’s explore the opposite. Are screens and online activities taking away from your mental and physical health? Are you more stressed, anxious, depressed, or angry due to your screen time? Are online activities preventing you from exercising or healthy eating?
This type of screen use gets in the way of your health and is not adding value to your life.
What Are Screens Doing for You?
So, what’s the result? Are screens enhancing your life and helping you? Are you a better friend thanks to Snapchat? Is your career improving due to your online productivity? Has your mental and physical health improved with the help of the app store?
Technology is not evil or bad by itself. It’s how we use technology that makes it a good or not so good thing. Use your screens to improve your life. Experienced a life enhanced by screens and use them to add value to your life, not take away from it.