Finally Getting Offline

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.

I have found myself staring at a screen for endless hours of day. Now, with online school, we, students, are constantly on our laptops. Whether it is to read, type papers, watch videos, attend Zoom classes, or even watching Netflix, I have recently been feeling consumed by a screen. After so long, I get a piercing headache and I know it’s from the excessive use of the technology that we have today.

It is difficult to be able to limit my screen time as I feel like I need to constantly be on my laptop for school. I do not want to fall behind or miss something because I have a silly little headache. However, I have found the importance of breaks. Whether it’s asking my roommates if they want to go for a walk, grab some coffee, or just hang out on our porch for a little bit, I have been realizing that taking breaks during the day for yourself is just as crucial for success.

I have always known that it’s physically, emotionally, and mentally draining to do schoolwork all day every day. Yet, I used to make myself feel guilty or bad when I wasn’t putting my full energy into school. At these times, my anxiety would be uncontrollable to the point where I just would shut down. This is when I realized that I would not be able to do well in school if that was all I was doing. I found the importance of socializing and getting fresh air and exercising.

I would love to hear if there are other ways to de-stress that work well for others, or if there are other ways to help lessen the stress of school… especially during these times. COVID has become a stressor in just about everyone’s life. It messed up our vacations, our social experiences, and our school year. Now, more than ever, we should be checking in on one another to make sure we are finding healthy outlets for all the anxiety and uncertainty going on.

How much time does your child spend online? Have they felt like they’re spending too much time online? Do you think they are too connected, and if so, do you know how much of it is because they have to? How would you encourage your child to take breaks offline if they feel like they have to constantly be connected?

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