Digital Media Literacy: Always On in a Digital World

Lesson 16: Always On in a Digital World


Always on in a digital world

Digital devices are everywhere these days, making it easy to stay connected to the digital world. But while access to instant information can be helpful, always being connected can also cause problems if you don't moderate your screen time and watch out for bogus information.

Watch the video below to learn more about always being connected to the digital world.

A never-ending stream of content

Over the past several years, the number of digital screens has skyrocketed, and our new collective habit of constantly using our devices has had a noticeable effect on society. The average American spends more than 10 hours a day looking at a screen of some kind. Our smartphones, computers, video games, and other devices provide a never-ending stream of news, entertainment, and information that we can’t seem to look away from.

Because these devices are almost everywhere, instant gratification is easier than ever, especially with our phones always close by. The ability to escape into a screen whenever we want can become a problem during work, school, and social time, stealing our attention away from the present moment.

Moderating your screen time

With so much content being created, consumed, and shared, false information can spread rapidly, especially when people don’t take the time to investigate it thoroughly. Not only does this behavior create untold amounts of misinformation, but it can also make it difficult to find legitimate information and distinguish it from unfounded claims.

This is just one of the reasons it’s crucial to moderate your screen time. Studies have shown that too much of it can have negative effects on your physical and emotional health, including eye strain, headaches, and irritability. Besides, taking a break from screens can give your mind some time to rest and process information without a constant stream of distractions.

To help balance your screen time, you can use one of the many device apps and settings that can monitor and limit your usage. These features can help you stay in control of your devices instead of your devices controlling your every spare moment.

Modern life encourages and occasionally demands us to use screens on a regular basis,  and it's perfectly fine to use them in moderation. Just remember to balance this usage with habits that keep you healthy and that prevent the spread of misinformation.