Discovery – Planet Green

By Sara Novak

I have no right to scream fowl when it comes to how much of my time is spent in front of a screen. I’m a writer and I spend more time than I would ever like to admit with my finger tips glued to a keyboard. But when you do see the numbers, like in a new Video Consumer Mapping study, they are pretty staggering.

According to a recent study done by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design (CMD) and Sequent Partners for the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence (CRE), adult Americans spend an average of more than eight hours a day in front of screens whether it be televisions, computer monitors, cellphones, or other devices. Live television is still the largest culprit but computers are gaining fast. The number increases when people reach age 45 to an average of just over nine-and-a-half hours.

This certainly cannot be eliminated, I know, I depend on by keyboard for my livelihood, but with a few steps you can cut WAY back on all this time that sucks energy out of the planet and to be honest, you as well.

  1. Cut back on web surfing.
    This wastes an abundance of time when you’re at work and it adds to your overall time in front of a computer. When you’re working, do work, don’t spend hours and hours a day surfing the web. When you’re done with work, shut the computer down for another day.
  2. Don’t multitask in front of the television.
    If you’re cooking dinner, enjoy the experience of putting it together. Focus on chopping vegetables, whisking a batter, or dicing garlic instead of zoning out in front of the television. When you’re folding laundry, take care to fold the laundry and don’t watch endless tube as you do it. You’ll cut back on electricity and you’ll actually be present in your life.
  3. Have Blackberry/phone free time.
    When you get home from work put your Blackberry away and don’t look at it until tomorrow. If it rings you can pick it up but don’t check it every five minutes to see if another email has come in. We weren’t meant to be this available. Learn to step away from work when you’re done for the day. Work/life balance is truly an important part of enjoying your life and the people in it such as your family.
  4. Adopt a new activity, one that doesn’t involve numbing the mind.
    That’s truly what too much television can do. Instead on sitting back down, go for a run, engage the other parts of you body by walking the dog, mowing the lawn, hitting a yoga class, or cooking dinner with your significant other.
  5. Step away from the computer and shut it down during meal times.
    Don’t eat your meals in front of the computer. Step away for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.Learn to enjoy your lunch, what it tastes like, and your free time without doing work at the same time and you’ll drastically cut the time you spend in front of the screen.