Step away from screens: Maryville College professor encourages "Analog Zones"

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — "It simply means that the volume of screen time these days is exploding often to the detriment of human relationships and human well being," said Bruce Guillaume, a professor at Maryville College.

Phones sit on a table so no one is tempted to distract themselves from the group (Source: WVLT)

Phones, computers, televisions and tablets the main sources of our work, entertainment and well being.

"Instead of the default position for a phone, especially, being on and charged and in a back pocket) the default position for a lot of technology ought to be off," explained Guillaume.

He is getting students at Maryville College to put down their devices.

"So the idea of an analog zone or analog time is simply to be more mindful about time on your screen which sometimes means having no screen, having face time, being directly involved in a relationship," said Guillaume.

People surrounded by technology at work and at home.

"So that was just kind of eye opening thinking about wow I'm spending about two to three hours a day on my phone every week, how could I be using that time for school, how could I get outside, or spend time with friends and actually talk with them versus scrolling on the feed to learn about their lives," questioned Amy Turpin, a senior at Maryville College.

"When I go out to eat, I'll sometimes be that awkward person sitting there not on my phone and realize that every single other person who is there waiting on their food is scrolling on Instagram or some other app," said Lea Mulligan, a junior at Maryville College.

The goal is becoming fit, green and happy, meaning be outside and get active.

"I do feel healthier just because I've been intentional about ok I have this information, now what am I going to do about it," explained Turpin.

"I love trail running so it's a really relieving feeling to leave my phone behind and just escape for a little bit," said Mulligan.

Whether it's doing activities alone or together, there's Mulligan finds ways to keep herself busy without staring at a screen.

"So it's nice to be intentional and maybe talk to your friends about it and maybe create a phone stack where everyone just sets their phones in the middle of the table," said Mulligan.

Guillaume's goal is not to eliminate technology but for people to be mindful about using it.

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