You wake up and the first thing you do is check your email, and social media and maybe even read the news. Then you go to school or work where you also look at screens, maybe even while you are still checking social media during the day. In the evening you come home and watch Netflix and check your socials again before you go to bed again, so you can do the same thing again tomorrow.
If this sounds familiar, you are probably wasting a lot of precious time looking at our screens. Globally people average around 7 hours of screen time per day! You know that you are spending a lot of time on social media and Netflix, but changing it, is not easy. It has become a habit. How often are you watching TV and suddenly you are also on your phone? You don’t even really realize you are doing it. You are living on autopilot.
Not only is it a waste of time, but it also leads to less social contact with people and it has been proven it also affects your mental health in a negative way. But maybe now is the perfect moment to spend less time on your phone.
This is how much time we waste looking at our screens and how to change it
The average screen time is 7 hours, but that is not the whole picture. After checking your social media, it can take 23 minutes to refocus. 23 minutes! Besides that, we also distract ourselves every 3.5 minutes, we feel the urge to check our phones to see if we have missed something. This is also called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). But we are not making it easier for ourselves if we put our phones on the table. Social media and other websites/apps are addictive because they are designed like that. Social media wants to keep you on their app.
And that is the main problem. It is too addictive. That is why we always try to spend less time on our phones, but it is too hard. Every time, social media is trying to get your attention by sending you a notification. This also releases dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel good. So the moment you get your phone and you see someone liked your photo/video, you will feel good. But it can also mess up your brain. If you constantly check your phone and your brain release dopamine. Too much dopamine is linked to being more competitive, aggressive and having poor impulse control. It can lead to conditions that include ADHD, binge eating, addiction and gambling.
It is time to wake up
That does not sound great right? It is time to wake up and take back control. Because let’s be honest, most of us are too addicted to our phones and we become sort of slaves of social media. Turn off your notifications on social media (yes, it is possible) and enjoy the present moment. Maybe you can set a timer and give yourself 15-30 minutes to check your socials. This way you don’t have to give up social media and your phone completely.
There are so many things you can do without your phone. I survived it as a kid and other people did too. I remember how much fun and easier it was back then. I was spending a lot of time with friends in real life. I read so many books and wrote things. I was extremely creative and I kind of lost that when social media came.
But it feels good to spend time without your phone. Start spending a few hours without your phone, and see how you feel and how much time you actually have. I start noticing how many things I could do in just a few hours. Normally, those tasks would have taken so much longer. I became more productive and just a nicer person in general. Spending too much time on social media messes up my brain. Some days I spend 10 hours on my phone. But one day, I woke up and looked around me and watched the people around me. Everyone on the bus was looking at their phones and they did not see the little deer. These days I still think it is kind of sad how addicted we are. Some people are walking their dogs with their phones in their hands and they have no idea where they are going. They only have eyes for the phone and not the dog. Sometimes those people look like zombies! So take back control of your life and start having fun without your phone!
Photo by Plann on Unsplash