Tips for Managing Social Media and Screen Time During Lockdown

January 15, 2021

Tips for Yourself 

Set time limits

  • You can generally set specific time limits on some apps, or on your screen time generally; decide on an appropriate time limit and use the setting to help you stick to it.  

One screen at a time

  • If you are working on your computer, move your phone and/or tablet away (if you don’t need it for work) and turn your TV off.  
  • If you are on your phone, don’t watch TV at the same time, especially if it’s the news.  
  • Try and use each device for it’s purpose; work laptop or computer for work only – it can help reduce consumption and set your boundaries between work and home life.  

Set a specific time to check news outlets

  • Being in our homes all the time can make us think more about what’s going on outside – the likelihood is this can cause us stress.
  • To keep up to date without the stress, set a time that you watch the news or check apps or new sources for the latest updates and leave it at that.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell family and friends to stop giving you updates on news information.     

Don’t feel guilty

  • Let’s face it, we are bound to be watching more Netflix or Prime than usual right now and spending more time on our phones or computers or tablets browsing the web; and that is totally fine, don’t punish yourself for it.  
  • If you do come away from your screen feeling overwhelmed, uncomfortable, or exhausted, then it’s time to set some boundaries – limit the time you spend in front of the screen, limit the type of shows you watch or limit the apps you check. 

Curate your news feed

  • Follow accounts that make you feel good about yourself and your values.  
  • Unfollow or mute the accounts that don’t.  

Use reputable news apps or sites to gain up to do information

  • We don’t need to cause ourselves any unnecessary stress by taking on the wrong sort of information. To keep up to date, use trusted and reputable news sites, apps or channels.  

Parent tips for Children 

Set a time limit for children

  • Try and keep to your usual social media/online rules as though children were still physically going to school. 

Have open communication 

  • If your child is worried about anything they see or read, talk to them to find their concern.  
  • Allay their fears and share how you are feeling to help normalise theirs.  
  • Make sure children are aware that what they see doesn’t always reflect real life.  
  • Educate children about relying on credible news sources.  

We’re currently running a series of free short webinars aimed at parents, students and teachers to help support children during the lockdown. LEARN MORE

Lead by example

  • Don’t spend too much time online or on social media yourself. Children mimic our behaviours and it’s important to remember that. 

Watch or engage together

  • Talk about what you are seeing on the screen together; how it makes you feel, what it means for you and ask them the same. 

Award a token

  • Set rules around when your child earns a token: what they are for and time limits.  
  • This will help children to set boundaries between any possible essential screen time and free time.  

Use screen time for human connection

  • Highlight the importance of human connection and that screen time should be used wisely, such as for calls with family and friends.  

You can learn much more about tips and techniques around supporting mental health and wellbeing during the lockdown period by taking a look at the blog section of our the website

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