Could you go a day without screens? Nova Scotia Sight Group Issues Challenge
With a new season approaching, the idea of starting spring cleaning by tackling screen time habits is something the Maritimers admit is easier said than done.
“I think if I could go 24 hours without my phone I would feel a lot better about myself and be really proud,” said Kate Morrison, a grade 12 student at the Breton Education Center in Cape Breton.
And she’s not opposed to taking a break.
“I’m busy most of the time with school activities, so I don’t spend too much time on my phone anyway.”
But it looks like Morrison is in the minority.
Doug Earle is part of Fighting Blindness Canada, an organization that launched a challenge called “Screens off For Sight” this weekend.
Earle says it’s partly to combat bad phone habits built during the pandemic.
He says Statistics Canada data shows screen time has increased by around 60% during COVID-19.
“Well, it’s a 24-hour challenge we’re issuing to all Canadians to turn off the screens,” Earle explained.
He says that during the pandemic, children, in particular, were spending an average of two more hours a day on screens, largely due to online learning.
Something the eye specialists his group consults with say can be bad for a person’s eyesight over time.
“They report in the work they do that about 90% of adults experience eye strain,” Earle said. “Consistent eye strain over time leads to eye health issues.”
For the younger generation who have been around screens most of their lives, you’d think it might be harder to quit smoking, even for a day.
But other high school students CTV News spoke to thought they would be up to the task.
“I try to limit my screen time, but I’ve never tried to take a full day off,” said Isabella White, also a student at the Breton Education Centre. “It would be difficult, but I think maybe I could do it.”
As to whether Earle views the idea of 24 hours without screen time as a difficult challenge, he was candid in his response.
“My hand is shaking just thinking about it. Because we’re so addicted to our phones and TV, computer games.”
The 24-hour Screens Off for Sight challenge begins when the phones go off at 6 p.m. Saturday