Digital Education

A question of balance

Freepik   | Photo Credit: Freepik

Sometime in the first two decades of the 21st century, technology unlocked the next stage of humankind’s evolution. The smartphone has become a ‘digital organ’ of our body and is the most visible consequence of this development. According to one study, in the pre-COVID-19 era, teens and pre-teens spent about six hours online daily. Another study estimated that an adult Indian spent 1,800 hours online every year on average. The pandemic has thrown our dependence on digital technology into sharper relief.

With travel restrictions in place, individuals and organisations had to become digitally savvy overnight and adopt digital tools to conduct business, attend classes, meetings, shop and so on. The result? An increase in the average time spent by individuals in the digital domain. Clearly, we have begun inhabiting cyberspace as much as we inhabit the offline space.

Now, we have two options: when we are done with work, we can continue to engage in cyberflânerie, running up and down the treadmill of social media platforms or we can start thinking about how we can productively manage our screen time by extracting more value from online excursions. Here are a few suggestions:

Intellectual development: When it comes to reading or watching lectures, the Internet is a treasure trove. Split your screen time and catch up on your reading by either purchasing e-books or listening to audiobooks. You can also access academic lectures on a host of topics on digital platforms or download language learning apps.

Sharpen skills: You can divide your screen time between obtaining industry-specific skills and up/re-skilling. Various digital platforms offer both free and paid courses and relevant certifications.

Take the offline route: There is no replacement digitally for physical activities like a walk in the park or a sport. So make sure you log out and spend some time keeping yourself fit and also connect with your family and friends to bolster social relations.

The writer is Managing Director India, Skillsoft.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 5:31:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/optimising-screen-time-in-the-new-normal/article33085055.ece

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