Students Want to Reduce Their Screen Time. Let's Help Them.

by Katie Dorn on June 13, 2024

Summer's here, and guess what? Our students are gearing up for more free time—which often means more screen time. But here’s the thing: Too much screen time can really mess with their mental health. And honestly, they know it.

The stats are in, and kids are telling us they want to dial it down. As a former high school counselor and a mom to a bustling crew of seven, I’ve seen firsthand the strain those screens can put on our kids.

Heads Up: Students Want To Cut Back Screen Time

Check this out: More and more students are stepping up, wanting to cut back on their screen time. A fresh Pew Research Center study from March 2024 shows that over a third of teens—44% of girls and 33% of boys—think they’re on their phones too much. And over at EmpowerU, where our mission is to help students re-engage in their wellbeing and thrive, a whopping 70% of our students want to trim their screen time. By the end of our program, 92% of them are actually doing it and reporting that their small steps toward change make a big difference.

Let’s Get Practical: Steps to Help Reduce Screen Time

So, how can we help? Here are some down-to-earth tips to help our students manage their digital diets:

  • Take regular screen breaks: Just like stretching between workouts.
  • Get into hobbies that don’t need a Wi-Fi connection: Think painting, sports, or music.
  • Set clear screen time limits: Make it a daily thing.
  • Use apps to keep the screen time in check: There’s plenty of tech that can help.
  • Talk about it: Open up conversations at home about balancing tech use.
  • Chill out: Teach them some mindfulness to lessen the screen cling.
  • Equip them with tools for self-management: Not just gadgets, but strategies.

EmpowerU mixes daily 1:1 online personal coaching with bite-sized lessons that teach them the skills they need to make these important changes in a way that lasts.

Real Results

Here’s the lowdown—92% of our students hit their screen time reduction targets. In Utah’s Nebo School District alone:

  • 91% cut down their screen time.
  • 90% boosted their focus in school.
  • 85% felt less anxious and happier.
  • Every single one found our program beneficial.

One student said it best: "I used to reach for my phone whenever I got bored. Now, I do stuff that actually energizes me."

Beyond the Screen

Our programs aren’t just about less screen time. They’re about building confidence, motivation, and resilience throughout the year. Teachers see it. Students feel it. This isn’t about piling on more work—it’s about supporting our kids to manage their time and mental space better.

So, as we dive into summer, let’s empower our students to not just survive, but thrive—with less screen time and more life time. Let's make this summer count!