Is Screen Time in the Morning a Bad Thing?

Is Screen Time in the Morning a Bad Thing?

Joelle Alcaidinho
Oct 26, 2011

With the amount of devices that are small and can be stored near the bed, it seems almost impossible to go through mornings without screens. Wake up, shut off the alarm on the phone, use the phone to check email, the weather, and the list goes on. While it is incredibly common for the first few moments of a day to be filled with technology, is it a good thing?

I am currently having this debate with my significant other about how long one should wait when waking up (or if one should wait at all) before reaching for a device. Part of the frustration is that when one person reaches for that tablet, the light from the device wakes the other person up. Another part of the issue is that it's not terribly romantic on those days when we're both awake for the first 15 minutes of the day to be spent ignoring each other and tapping at our phones and tablets. We also have developed a sneaking suspicion that our gadget habits could be making us late.

Since we are data nerds at Unplggd we decided to track just how much time we were spending each morning in front of a screen that was prior to starting the work day. Here are the average results for how much time we each spend in front of screens in the morning:

  • While still in bed: Smartphone: 15-18 minutes
  • Tablet: 10 minutes during the week, 20 minutes during weekends
  • Laptop or tablet during breakfast: 15-20 minutes

We were pretty surprised when we looked at the data and found we were spending almost an hour in front of screens every morning! It's no wonder that we are often scrambling at last minute, worried we will be late wondering where the time went. After looking at exactly how much time we were spending in front of screens and thinking about the amount of bickering that they bring we have decided to do something about it.

On weekends we are striving to get our household on board with going screen free for the first 2 hours of the day. During the week we are trying to go screen free for the first 20 minutes with zero screen time spent while in bed. While we have not been successful in this yet we are curious to hear your thoughts. How much time do you spend in front of screens before starting work? What are your thoughts on screens first thing in the morning?

For those who can't get enough technology in their mornings, check out these posts from our archives.

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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