Too much screen time can harm your life

Limit Your Video Screen Time –

Digital Wellbeing
Nov 09, 2022

    As the famous Google, Facebook, and SpaceX Executive Dex Hunter-Torricke said, video traffic accounts for more than 80% of all traffic online because content preferences have shifted from text to images to videos – and now live streams.

    According to the CISCO Annual Internet report, videos are the biggest bandwidth consumer, and streaming three hours of video content generates more Internet traffic than whole household consumption. The global pandemic has further accelerated the demand for connectivity, and now that we are working from home, the number of mobile subscribers is also rising. 

    For example, TikTok is THE destination for mobile videos – it keeps gaining momentum with its simple features, such as easy phone video editing, various personalized attributes, face recognition, a wide range of music options, and user collaboration. The content creators’ enthusiasm does not finish – many of them claim that TikTok gained them traction on other platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In fact, users become even more addicted to social media as the infinite scroll leads to endless content consumption. The further they go in their feed, the more relevant and personalized the experience.

    Participants in the video addiction race

    Three apps with video features compete for user attention – TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels. They have similarities and benefits, but their main difference is the target audience. Gen Z is ruling TikTok, and Instagram Reels has a more extensive reach but still has the social factor. YouTube Shorts is more favorable in Google Search and is perfect for a broader target audience. Statista shows that overall, 62 percent of global consumers use YouTube, which is mind-blowing.

    TikTok is dominating with its easy-to-use interface and user-based content. YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels are following and catching up with hours per day usage. However, rumors have it that TikTok’s influence may extend even more into News and Search as young people depend more and more on the app for discovery and interaction with news content. 

    In an era of a short attention span where we seemingly put some monumental effort into shortening various content,TikTok is extending the maximum video length from 60 seconds to 3 minutes and, now, to 10 minutes. Studies show that our attention is not getting smaller, but we deal with interruptions and filtering as more information becomes available. We are now making decisions about what content to focus our attention on.

    This theory explains why so many people immerse themselves in binge-watching series on Netflix – yet another app that participates in the video addiction race. A survey conducted by the company reveals that over 73% of the streamers feel good about binge-watching because they consider it a refuge from their busy lives. 

    Statistics on Tech Jury show that people spend an average of 6 hours and 48 minutes per week watching online videos. USA residents watch an average of 323 minutes per week of video content – on mobile phones alone!

    While escapism is good for everyone because it can help prevent burnout and increase feelings of mental strength, you should not let it become avoidance. Our Ultimate Digital Detox Guide already mentioned that it is easy to become absorbed by devices, and excessive online time may indicate psychological issues. Video detox would be a great way to re-establish a healthy connection with yourself and your gadgets.

    When do you need video detox?

    Internet and social media unquestionably expand our perspectives and provide us with opportunity to connect globally. Web 2.0 started the creator economy of over 50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders – including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers. Our society shifted to value feeling fulfilled in our jobs, controlling how we spend our time, and being our own boss. In a world where creators do what they love for a living, fans strive to follow their path that never leads to a cubicle. 

    It is a positive turn-out for mental health, including that social media can be an early indicator of psychological issues based on publication behavior as an analysis of the causes of inferiority feelings shows.

    However, social media has its dark side because it focuses on our digital lifestyles too much and might cause or increase many mental health conditions. People spending too much time online are more likely to suffer from such disorders.

    In order to improve yourself, a video detox is an effective method since it is easy to become absorbed in your devices.  

    You will need video detox if you feel any symptom below: 

    • Feeling immersed by social media – Infinity scroll leads to endless procrastination. If excessive technology use is getting in the way of your wellness, you might need time to refrain from using electronic devices for some period. Repeated interruptions interfere with concentration and impact productivity.
    • Feeling of inferiority and decreased self-esteem – Comparing yourself to others on social media can lead to unreasonable goals and a reduced sense of well-being. Researchers state that often this complex is the cause of eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
    • Anxiety and depressive symptoms – The problem of digital burnout has become prevalentand it might be related to your leisure and working time. The excessive use of your devices can make you feel exhausted, anxious, depressed. Working only from home without having human interaction can induce diminished interest in your job.
    • Insufficient social interaction – The more you use social media, the more you experience higher rates of loneliness. According to Dr. Steve Rose, a licensed addiction counselor, social media has changed how we communicate, making us more connected but less social.

    How to reduce video screen time?

    Videos make up around 82% of all consumer internet traffic, so it is reasonable cutting down all digital devices for a while. Unplugging from social media for at least a few days will certainly refresh you.

    Our list of strategies below will help you develop a further plan since what constitutes healthy technology use varies from person to person. It is a big step to identify watching videos as an unhealthy habit because they can eat from your precious time. You should review your phone usage to know how much time you spend watching videos. 

    Here are the five steps we chose for you:

    • Move more, sit less.

    It is hard to limit your screen time when you work on a computer, but you should consider breaking it up with regular activities for just one or two minutes. Research has shown that being inactive is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death. Professionals advise people to exercise regularly to reduce the risk of ill health from inactivity.

    • Turn off unnecessary notifications. 

    You should turn off your notifications because they distract you from your current activity. Most of the time, they come from social media to feed your addiction. You will notice that your productivity grows, and you are more focused once they are gone.

    • Reduce mobile games. 

    In general, every mobile app with gamification aims to capture your focus and snare you from the outside world. We live in an exciting era where technology’s capabilities are limitless. Game developers and designers use various game hooks to draw in existing players while expanding the user base to new players. They draw your attention and make you spend more time in the virtual world, but you also should control that urge and cultivate mindfulness. 

    • Track your screen time and set limitations.

    Realizing how much time you spend in infinite scrolling is another step to restoring your life balance. You can use apps or phone features to monitor your activity. Create strict guidelines when you spend time on social media and stick to them. For example, you can set alarms like reminders to pull you out from your social media hypnosis.

    • Hard for you to quit? Spend time with mental health counselor.

    A therapist specializing in addiction can assist you if you’re having trouble adhering to reasonable time frames or balancing online and offline life. Likely, you will not need their services forever. You will receive proper advice on how to deal with depression and anxiety if these are part of your symptoms.


    Video addiction has had a long history for humans. Studies have conceptualized and discussed that we have been absorbed by TV since the 1970s – long before internet addiction has overtaken us. Scientific research on screen time usually focuses more on children’s overuse, but adults are also susceptible.

    Video content consumption nowadays has been moving to mobile, and most of the global population surpasses the recommended limits of viewing sessions. Continually, smartphone ownership is increasing – the latest figures show 79% since 2016. The video became such a crucial part of mobile consumption that a study showed that 47% of millennials and older respondents would rather watch their favorite shows on social media if available. Streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu have been on the rise, and for the first time last month, they surpassed cable TV in U.S. television consumption.

    In recent times, consumption of online video content has been witnessing a shift from mobiles to big screens, helped by factors like affordable smart TVs and increased broadband penetration. Additionally, this has nothing to do with cable TV. Video and TV are decoupling, and smartphones and social networks are heavily laden with video content. As a result, millennials prefer to watch TV series on streaming platforms rather than on live TV.

    Healthcare professionals keep advising people to reduce screen time, especially before bed, including not putting a TV in their bedroom and not leaving their phone by their pillow. It would be a bold start for your video detox – are you ready for it?