How to Deal with Remote Relationships in the Age of Online Meetings

Dealing with our new online lives can be exhausting particularly when you're spending more than the average 9-5 in front of your computer. Alongside minimal external activity and losing our connections to the outside world, we rely more and more on our virtual relationships. Keeping in contact with our loved ones, especially for those living alone, has been a real saviour for our sanity.

We all know about how excess device use impacts our lack of sleep, but that appears to be only the beginning of the real effects. 

"If you watch too much TV, your eyes will go square..." My mum used to tell me after she'd caught me watching The Simpsons and then flicking over to Neighbours.

But that's not nearly half of it, excess screen time causes your brain to restructure, vulnerability to metabolic syndrome, eye strain, and you may not be able to process emotions as well as previous generations. 

So, how do we avoid screen time whilst maintaining the connection to the outside world? Here are a few tips and tricks to limit your screen time and keep your eyes round:

  • Keep your zoom calls brief and try to avoid back to back calls. 
  • Tune in from outside- It's important too make the most of the good weather after all...
  • Take notes on paper - Research shows that making notes in longhand activates your brain in a different way, increasing retention and memory, and resulting in a different level of cognition.
  • Two words: Phone Calls.
  • Update the ergonomics of your set up- Whether it's at the kitchen table or in the study, we all need a space that is solely devoted to work. Auditing your setup will help to boost your productivity. For example, are you constantly hunched over your laptop? Are you squinting to read the  screen? Are your eyes level with the screen?
  • Give your eyes and your body a break- take several breaks throughout your working day to give your eyes a rest. 
  • Maintain specific office hours- To avoid spending all day everyday in front of your computer, set your hours, be it 9-5 or 8-4, and stick to it.
  • Take the weekend off- Do something with your hands to keep you engaged with reality as you take time out from your virtual life.