My (Almost) Screen-Free Month

We've all heard it before, and we all know it. Screen time is bad for you -- we need to step away from the screens and into real life.

However, in our increasingly digitised world, it's becoming harder and harder to keep away from screens. The average amount a person spends in front of a screen every day is between 5 and 7 hours. This isn't a good thing; screen glare hurts our eyes (especially in the dark), and screen time too late in the day can mess up our body clocks. You can also get headaches and feel cross and tired after being on the computer or watching TV for too long (if you've ever watched a Lord of the Rings film all in one go, you'll know what I'm talking about).

Things get worse. With all the new features on computers, smartphones and tablets nowadays, it's becoming harder and harder to focus on the work you turned them on to do. We do a lot of other, more insignificant things as well, thus increasing our exposure to screens even more. I am frequently a victim of this; I boot up my computer in order to write, and then I think, 'Hmm. I'll just check my Twitter...'

Half an hour later, I still haven't opened my word processor.

All these reasons is why I've decided to have a (mostly) screen-free month this July.

Here are the rules:

  1. Six days a week, there will be no screens. No TV, no computer, no iPod. However, Kindles are allowed (they're e-ink and not backlit, so they don't cause the damage that normal screens do).
  2. One day a week, screens are allowed (this is so I can check my email, post some updates, and blog about how screen-free month is going!).
  3. Using an iPod or similar device with a screen to listen to music on screen-free days is fine. But it can be used for NOTHING ELSE.

So what about writing? Surely I can't just write one day a week? Well, I shall turn to good old-fashioned pen and paper, of course! There's still a lot of planning I need to do for my upcoming books, so hopefully I can work those out on paper, and then know exactly what to write come August!

Anyway, to conclude, if sometime in July you're wondering why I haven't updated Twitter in a while ... that's why.

(Actually, that won't happen. I shall simply schedule Tweets each week. Thank you, Tweetdeck!)

A little infographic about screen time

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