New Year’s Resolutions 2012: Reduce Screen Time

Yes. This is actually a NEW thought, sparked by an article I read in The Guardian about a family trying to escape the tyranny of their screens.

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On average, in 2011 I’ve been spending 70 hours / week in front of one screen or another – mostly computer screens, but also my smartphone and my handheld games console. Additionally, when in front of the computer screen I often tend to have a second screen on – the TV, playing iPlayer downloads.

My only saving grace is that I don’t watch any channels that have NASTY EVIL MIND DESTROYNG ADS (e.g. ITV, Channel4) as I don’t have a TV licence, and my main type of intake is cultural / documentary (BBC4).


I spend way too much time working with screens (yes, 99% of my screen time is work-related in some way or other – I work in digital marketing) and it makes me always want distraction, something happening.

Given that my screen time is mostly work-related, and seeing that there are 70 hours of it per week – how can I possibly reduce it? Some ideas:

  1. no screens before work: no computers switched on the moment I get up; instead wait till you arrive at your actual workplace using the work computer
  2. combine screen times / increase multitasking while in front of screens: e.g. do my own tweets and read my twitter feeds while at work e.g. during lunch break, rather than do it when I get home (thus carrying screen-tasks over into what should be ‘screen-free time’)
  3. reduce exposure to double screens: whenever working from home, try switching off the second screen e.g. iPlayer programme on the TV in the background while working on screen

That’s three starting points I can think of at the moment. Naturally, the only real solution would be to change jobs. Being a digital marketing professional unfortunately means that I have to be a screenhead.

The irony is that I very much enjoy my job, but I hate having to be online all the time. But I have to. It’s what I know and know very well indeed, and it comes with the job.

All I can do right now and for 2012, hence New Year’s Resolution, is nurture the awareness of screen time and start reducing it in small steps.

PS: Kingdom Hearts – Birth by Sleep is ACE! Though it helps destroy my brain, alongside all the other screens that want me and demand of me.

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