We tend to find ourselves in front of a screen now much more than ever. Screen time and social media have taken on the role of entertainment as well as a necessary part of the work-from-home lifestyle. If you’re anything like me you dread seeing the Screen Time notification every week. But have you ever wondered how much time our society actually spends in front of a screen?

A shocking new study by Uswitch analyzed how much time Americans are spending in front of a screen and what effects this can have on our wellbeing. According to the study, American’s spend an average of 1,366 hours a year just on social media. The most popular of the social media platforms is Facebook with the studying finding users spend 58 minutes a day or 325 hours a year on the app. Instagram is the second most popular platform with Snapchat rounding out the top 3.

It’s not just adults, in fact, children and Gen-Z are the biggest culprits. The study reveals that children aged between 5 – 16 spend up to a shocking 9 hours a day in front of a screen. In addition to spending more time on social media apps, studies revealed that the percentage of Gen-Z who watch videos every day has doubled since 2015. The study reveals that kids are spending an equal amount of time on the internet as well as watching television, which suggests that may be doing this simultaneously which could have effects on their ability to focus.

Tips to reduce screen time 

We might think we’re conscious of how much time we spend in front of a screen but being surrounded by constant entertainment is addictive. Here are some tips to help reduce your screen time and its effects:

  • Go easy on the eyes and turn on dark mode.
  • Make a note of how much time you’re spending in front of a screen and make a consistent effort to reduce your screen time. This can be done by implementing a rule of no phones before bed or during your lunch break. You can do this by setting a time limit on social media apps through your phones’ settings so you can’t access them or going on a walk at lunchtime rather than scrolling.
  • Take on a new hobby, it’s the perfect way to get away from the screen for an hour.
  • Take a digital detox by substituting your usual binge-watching with spending more time with friends or getting creative in the kitchen.

The full study and more info on social media and screen time can be found here.