Letter To the Editors: Effectively Decrease Your Screen Time

Changing your phone display to grayscale makes it less appealing.

As avid readers of The Villanovan, we were beyond excited to see an article published about “The Loss of Patience: Why We Can’t Wait Anymore,” or the detrimental effects that digital technology has on a student’s attention span. Proof of its persuasive power are found in the fact that we were actually able to get through the entire article without taking a Tik Tok break. Not only did it effectively expose the reasons behind the addictive nature of our phones and their apps, but its relevance kept our attention, despite the pull of all our screens. One important section it lacked, however, that would have benefited readers even more: SOLUTIONS.

While many may feel as though their phone addiction has reached the point of no return, we are here to report that there are indeed (safer) ways to reduce that unhealthy screen time that don’t require throwing your phone off the bridge. How do we know? These 3 tactics have helped us decrease our daily screen time by over 45%! 

Solution 1: Say Hey to the Gray!

Our eyes are drawn to colors. So don’t tempt them! Switching your phone’s color display to Greyscale makes the screen less stimulating. Instagram mirrors a newspaper, TikTok becomes an old-fashioned television, and Snapchat is, quite frankly, boring. All you have to do is open up Settings, navigate to Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Color Filters, and switch on the Color Filters toggle. There you go! The color (and fun) has left the screen. 

Solution 2: No Phone Calls in the Dining Halls!

Dinner is often the one time a day students are able to spend with their friends without being slumped with homework and studying. Why waste that time glued to your phone? Rather than bringing your device to the dining hall, leave it in your room (and encourage your friends to do so as well). You may be surprised by how much more engaged in conversation you are when notifications aren’t interrupting you the entire time. 

Solution 3: Notifications are Unread While in Bed!

Doom Scrolling; the act of endlessly scrolling through a feed of depressing news for hours at a time – something that many of us are guilty of doing, especially after turning off the lights and crawling into bed. Not only is the blue light detrimental to a healthy sleep cycle, but the absorption of distressing news right before bed is known to lead to increased anxiety in the morning. How to avoid what now feels like second nature to keep scrolling? Charge your phone on the opposite side of the room. If you’re just as lazy as we are, then you won’t be willing to trek to check a notification. 

Old habits die hard, but new ones can begin to form with three days of consistently different behavior. With final exams just around the corner, don’t sit around waiting for that Twitter beef to finally take flight, or a Snapchat from that person; ditch the phone and study the unknown.