Circuit Breakers: Rethinking Electronic Device Engagement for Student Mental Well-being


In an increasingly digital world, electronic devices have become an integral part of student life. However, the excessive use of electronic devices can have a significant impact on student mental well-being. Electronic devices can be categorised as electronic parts and components but in this article we will be focusing on display hand held electronic devices like mobile. This article aims to explore the relationship between electronic device engagement and student mental health, while providing practical examples and actionable steps for students to adopt healthier habits. By rethinking our approach to electronic device usage, we can promote better mental well-being among students.

The Impact of Electronic Device Engagement on Student Mental Health

Excessive use and dependence on electronic devices can have various negative effects on student mental well-being. It is important to be aware of these impacts to develop strategies for healthier device engagement.

    Digital Overload

The constant exposure to screens and information overload can lead to increased stress levels, reduced focus, and a higher risk of burnout among students. The pressure to multitask and keep up with notifications can contribute to anxiety and feelings of overwhelm.

    Social Media Comparisons

Social media platforms often foster a culture of comparison, where students compare themselves to idealised versions of others’ lives. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and negative body image.

Practical Examples for Healthy Electronic Device Engagement

By implementing practical strategies, students can strike a healthier balance between electronic device usage and their mental well-being. Here are some actionable steps they can take:

    Mindful Device Usage

Practice mindfulness when engaging with electronic devices. Set specific time limits for device usage and take regular breaks. Engage in activities that promote mental well-being, such as meditation, journaling, or pursuing hobbies that do not involve screens.

    Designated Device-Free Zones

Create physical spaces or periods during the day where electronic devices are not allowed. For example, establish a device-free zone in your bedroom or during meal times. This allows for increased face-to-face interactions and promotes better focus and relaxation.

    Digital Detox

Periodically disconnect from electronic devices for a set duration, such as a weekend or a week. Use this time to engage in activities that promote well-being, such as spending time in nature, reading books, or pursuing creative endeavours. Apps like “Offtime” and “Freedom” can help you temporarily block certain apps or set device usage restrictions.

Support Networks and Apps for Student Mental Well-being 

There are various support networks and apps available to students that can aid in managing their mental well-being in the digital age. Here are some examples:

    Online Mental Health Resources

Platforms like “Big White Wall” and “7 Cups” offer online communities and forums where students can connect with others, seek support, and engage in discussions on mental health topics. These platforms provide a safe and supportive space for sharing experiences and accessing peer support.

    Mindfulness and Meditation Apps

Apps like “Headspace” and “Calm” offer guided meditation exercises, breathing techniques, and mindfulness practices to help reduce stress, improve focus, and promote overall well-being. These apps provide accessible tools for students to incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives.

Collaborative Efforts for Student Mental Well-being

Creating a supportive environment for student mental well-being requires collaborative efforts from various stakeholders. Here are some ways collaboration can be fostered:

    School Initiatives

Educational institutions can introduce mental health programs and initiatives that prioritise student well-being. This can include implementing regular mental health check-ins, offering counselling services, and organising workshops on stress management and digital well-being.

    Parental Involvement

Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children’s mental well-being. They can encourage open conversations about device usage, set boundaries and rules around electronic device engagement, and model healthy device habits themselves.

    Peer Support Networks

Establishing peer support networks within schools or communities can provide students with a sense of belonging and a platform to discuss mental health challenges. Student-led organisations such as Active Minds and Bring Change to Mind promote mental health awareness and advocacy among students.


Rethinking electronic device engagement is essential for student mental well-being in the digital age. By adopting practical strategies, such as mindful device usage, creating device-free zones, and utilising available support networks and apps, students can take control of their mental well-being. Collaborative efforts among educational institutions, corporations in the technology industry, parents, and students themselves are crucial in fostering a supportive environment that prioritises mental well-being. By making conscious choices and finding a healthier balance with electronic devices, students can nurture their mental well-being and thrive in today’s digital world.

This article was written by  Eng Dan Riri, an electronics & technology writer


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here