Screen Time and Social Isolation: Reconnecting with Ourselves and Others

In today’s digital world, our lives are intertwined with screens and technology more than ever before. The consequence? An increase in social isolation. My wife and I have three young kids and we can relate to the challenge of limiting screen time, when it’s such an easy and convenient way to entertain our kids so we can have a time to ourselves or to work through important tasks. Relying on screen time comes with a hidden cost though, and if we want to curb this modern-day dependency, we need to chart a course back to genuine connection.

When I think of adventure and mountaineering, I would say one of the biggest draws is that we embark on such journeys to push and discover our inner limits, not just physically but emotionally and mentally. The solitude experienced on climbs and in the wilderness is a different type of solitude – one that allows reflection and personal growth. It is in the silence of the mountains that one finds room to reconnect with the inner self, an opportunity often lost in the constant buzz of notifications. Similarly, we must carve out moments of quiet in our daily lives, allowing us to reflect and understand who we are beyond our digital personas.

Screen time, while a marvel of modern technology, comes with its pitfalls. As the studies show again and again, it reduced face-to-face interactions leading to feelings of loneliness and disconnection. In other blogs, I’ve touched on the importance of setting boundaries in life, and in this context it include boundaries around our digital consumption. Just as we prepare for an expedition by understanding the terrain and setting limits to preserve our energy, we too must learn to manage our screen time to safeguard our mental and emotional wellbeing.

The journey of reconnecting with ourselves and others is not a solitary climb – it requires community and support. We discover that the most rewarding connections are those forged in the real world, away from the glow of screens, in the shared experiences and moments of genuine human connection.