Well, apparently, I spent it doing nothing important.
I discovered the screentime function on my iPhone the other day….and I learnt that I spent nearly 12 hours in a week on social media. 12 HOURS!!!!
I then found myself trying to justify it – well, its how I keep in touch with my friends (cough “rubbish” cough), but it’s good research for me to see what others are talking about in the planning world (cough “rubbish” cough). Ok, but if I didn’t look at social media, how would I know what’s going on in the world (cough “rubbish” cough).
I succumbed to accepting that the reason I was on social media that much in a week is because I was filling my empty time (and maybe even my family time…..ok, actually my family time) with mindless scrolling and comparison.
How did something which didn’t exist 10 years ago now take over my week quite so catastrophically? I heard someone say that we don’t open our door every 5 minutes to check if anyone is there so why check our phone?
And to be honest, it scared me. What had I missed in those 12 hours? What had I not paid attention to? What could I have been doing in those 12 accumulative hours that was valuable and important. Well, I could have been writing this blog post for a start!
So, I thought about what I should do – and I didn’t start mindless scrolling to avoid making some decisions.
Don’t think that by realising my failing, I STOPPED and deleted my Instagram account in a vain attempt to think it will help or threw my phone in the bin. Because it won’t help – I’ll find another way to look, be it logging onto the computer at home or peering over someones shoulder on the train, or even just uploading the app back onto my phone.
That’s what people with addiction do. They look for the loophole. And yes, I said addiction because actually, the thought of being without my phone and being connected to the world wide web, freaks me out and if I haven’t looked at my phone for a good hour, I feel lost – like I haven’t ticked something off the to-do list.
So, let’s get real – my phone IS a way of connecting with my friends and family – sharing family photos via WhatsApp, creating something and sharing with all of you on Instagram – as well as checking the weather, my bank balance or my train time. The honest truth is without our phones, things would be pointlessly difficult and painfully slow so I’m happy to embrace that part of technology.
But I do want to reduce my mindless comparison time – because that is what it is – comparing yourself with the world as much as you may think its about admiring other peoples talent and it makes you feel pants. Research has suggested that Instagram is the worst for young peoples mental health with negative results such as anxiety, depression, dysmorphia and FOMO (fear of missing out).
As a mother, the above worries me more for Little PB than me – so I need to change my habit drastically to ensure he understands the positives you can gain from technology in your pocket.
These are the steps I’ve taken and you are welcome to do the same:
- Deleted my Facebook app – I really don’t need to know (or even slightly care) what a school friend who I haven’t seen or spoken to for 15 years ate for dinner last night
- Filtered my Instagram – if I felt a sense of comparison or frustration with a series of posts from someone, I have unfollowed them – its no different from what happens to me by others and its widely accepted as OK.
- Set limits on a my ScreenTime function – 20 mins of social media a day and once you are over that, it reminds you (and effectively tells you off for trying to access more!)
- Set a downtime on my apps between 9pm and 6.30am so all my non-important apps become inaccessible during that time to avoid scrolling before bed and first thing in the morning
- Rearrange my home screen so I’m only focused on opening apps that are useful and beneficial to me – Audible, podcasts, BBC News and the weather app
- Just turn my phone off (I used to make the excuse that I had to keep my phone on if Nursery called – I just changed the number to my work phone because they will only call me during working hours anyway!)
I’ll be sure to update you on my progress but please also share your views & comments
x PB x