Ditch Netflix and TikTok: An Argument in Favor of Studying
In 2019 the average student spent 8-10 hours a day on your smartphonean average of around 3,285 hours this year. Given the months we have spent with lockdown and online courses in 2020, it can only be assumed that that number has increased. In addition to the hours we spend on the computer watching lectures and completing assignments, we use so much additional online content with apps like Netflix, TikTok, and Instagram. Spending excessive time in front of a screen is not good for our eyes or mental health.
So what’s the solution? I may sound like a grandma here, but it’s the truth: read a book! Physically reading gives you the option to turn off your phone a little and distance yourself from constant distractions like 10-minute scrolling through Instagram or TikTok only to find it was actually two hours. And it’s fun (no, really)! Just like your favorite Netflix show, a book can take you to another world for 30 minutes to an hour.
Many popular shows are actually based on novels. The Queen’s Gambit, Game of Thrones and the Umbrella Academy all TV shows are adapted from books, to name a few. Also, a book is always better than its television or film counterpart. Customizations tend to leave out a few details and reading the book version allows you to explore even more of your favorite worlds. If you don’t like lengthy novels, you can read a memoir from your favorite star or read a comic about your favorite Marvel or DC character. Just like the overwhelming amount of content on streaming services, there are so many books to put yourself into.
In addition to entertainment, if I haven’t convinced you, there are numerous health benefits of just spending a little time reading each day. For starters, read for pleasure only for pleasure 30 minutes a day can reduce the physical and emotional signs of stress. College is stressful (to say the least) and being on our screens all day doesn’t help. Reading outside of school can be a good first step in combating the fear we all feel. While an app like TikTok can help reduce stress, the blue light Your phone will convince your body that it is still daytime and that this can interfere with much-needed sleep after a busy day.
According to Dr. Heidi MoawadThe Mayo Clinic suggests that reading as part of your nighttime routine can help you relax before bed and sleep better. Personally, my sleep schedule went out the window during this pandemic. I used to sleep at 11 a.m. every night and now I often have trouble falling asleep before 12:30 p.m. But now, after about 45 minutes of reading, I am exhausted and fall asleep pretty quickly.
Additionally, Reading was found to Strengthen connections in the brain. Indeed, a Study in 2013 found that reading a book increased communication between areas of the brain that regulate speech and language processing. Another benefit of reading is that it can Increase your vocabularyThis can be an easy way to improve your performance on college entrance exams and interviews.
In addition, consistent reading also helps Relieve symptoms of depressionThis makes people feel less isolated and alone. Reading about characters you love is almost like being part of the story. As college students, especially during a pandemic, our mental health is not at an all-time high. School is already stressful, but now we have the additional fear of COVID-19 and self-isolation. The perfect way to keep yourself from constantly checking GauchoSpace and worrying about the state of the planet is to open a good book and read about another world with fascinating characters.
Now you could say to yourself, “Well, I don’t like reading …” or “I don’t have time to read …”, but that may change! According to A naidooAs the nutrition psychiatrist and director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, the easiest way to read more is to select a specific time to read each day or week. That way, it becomes part of your routine, and soon enough you want to pick up a book without thinking about it.
When you’ve seen everything on Netflix or just some time away from a bright screen: Read. I promise it will be your favorite part of the day. And you don’t have to come out with your guns blazing and commit to reading a 300-page novel. Start reading an hour a week. Not only will you have fun, but you will also notice a reduction in your stress levels and an improvement in your sleep. Even if you only read a few pages a day, you will also notice a reduction in your screen time that we all must work on.
If you need tips to get started, read on this three Videos on Youtube. They offer some great advice on how to start reading and how to read more. Now that you are done reading, open up a book and enjoy!
Julia Pekala believes that reading and taking away screens is the best way to cope with the combined stress of online courses and a pandemic.