Mindful Screening//

How To Have Boundaries In A Screen-Saturated World

Our eyes are glued to our screens, which is causing us to not see what's important

Photo by Peter Bucks on Unsplash

In 2007, Steve Jobs gave us the iPhone. Little did we know how impactful these little devices have changed our lives. I use my smartphone for everything. GPS, music, email, social media, health management, calendar scheduling, communications (yes, I use the phone icon), camera, alarm clock (I’m guessing Arianna wouldn’t be pleased with this news!), MLB at Bat, etc.

I run my business from this device. Without it, I would be lugging around a laptop (remember when laptops weighed over 10 lbs?  #Bulky).

A while back it became pretty clear that I use my phone a bit too much. My brother referred to it as my “iBinky”, aka pacifier.  #Ouch.

He’s right. I’m constantly being soothed by this awesome yet addictive device.

So, I decided to establish boundaries around usage.  I speak on boundaries and burnout, based on my own burnout in 2009/10, where in 369 Days, I lost EVERYTHING. Google it, it’s a fun story 😉

Establishing boundaries around any habit is a challenge. Eben Pagan puts it best (ironically) when he says you have to install a habit like you would an app on your phone.

Apple’s latest iOS release has a Time Limit feature, where you can set limits on what apps you can use on your phone. This speaks volumes to what’s going on with society and our own respective iBinkys and Androids. (Note, I was an Android user and they have awesome phones!)

I’m using the Time Limit feature (Android has the feature as well, Google it!) and it’s been interesting to say the least. Some days it’s important for me to access apps longer than the schedule I’ve set, so it’s still a work in progress.

I do recommend that you use some sort of time management on your screen time, if anything to see how many hours you’re logging on your phone each day. You will be shocked. #6HoursOnInstagram?

I also invested in blue light glasses, as recommended by a good colleague of mine Bryan Falchuk. Great guy, look him up #DoADay. Eye strain is bad, and we won’t know the long-term effects for a few years, but I’m guessing it won’t be pretty.

A tip I learned is to close your eyes every 30 minutes or so after you’ve had screen time. Please don’t do this while walking or driving, or in a meeting with your boss. This will give your eyes a break, so that your eyes don’t eventually break.

Similar to the 30 minute eye rest, get up out of your chair (if you’re physically able, too many of us who write things like this forget that a considerable portion of our population are wheelchair bound, so on behalf of authors everywhere, I apologize.) It’s important to be physically active, and put away our iBinky from time to time.

A couple weeks ago, I went to dinner on Friday night, and purposely left my iBinky at home. The horror! Dinner? In public? No phone?  Such a risk taker. Two weeks later, the Earth is still spinning, life still exists. The world did not end. What did happen was uninterrupted conversations. Imagine a world if we could do that?

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

social media detox. Disconnect from tech.

When a digital detox isn’t possible

by Haley Tamblyn
GStock Studio/ Shutterstock
Thriving in the New Normal//

How to Set Boundaries and Avoid Burnout While Working From Home

by Marina Khidekel
Blackzheep/ Shutterstock

12 Small Ways to Take Breaks From Our Screens

by Marina Khidekel

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.