I know I’m not alone in noticing that I’ve been spending an excessive amount of time staring at my phone over the last 12 months — it’s just always there.
Since working from home and not having a boss looming over your shoulder every minute, my phone sits quietly beside me as I go about my daily work. Until I pick it up, have a scroll through one app, put it down. Pick it up and have a scroll through a different app, put it down. This cycle repeats throughout the working day and into the evening.
Now I suppose there is the argument that it can be a distraction from the very realness of the outside world right now, which can be scary, depressing and embarrassing all at once — depending on where you’re from — but don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an attack on social media and it’s addictive nature.
Instead, I have a challenge for you — any of you, all of you. Check your screen time on your iPhone or Android and just think about how many hours or minutes that it shows you’ve spent looking at your phone. Then think how much better that time can be spent, whether it’s 2 hours or 4 hours.
Now that you’ve had a minute to mull things over, make a plan for what productive alternatives there are to social media and the usual time drains our phones are used to seeing. Below is a very limited list of ways I’ve tried to spend more of my time on lately, I hope they help or give you some inspiration to find your own ways to make better use of your screen time.
Feeling creative? Jot down a short story, article, touch up some of those holiday photos you’ve got gathering pixelated dust in your camera roll.
Want to make some money? Try your hand at the investment game, I’ll admit this can become as addictive to check throughout the day as much as some social media platforms — especially in the last week..
Quieres aprender? Brush up on your high school French or train your brain with daily teasers that will fill you with more satisfaction than scrolling through Instagram for 30 minutes — guaranteed.
There is an irony that comes with writing this. I haven’t become particularly wealthy, expanded my IQ significantly or become a creative genius using any of these apps. However, even if it is just a distraction from the real world for half an hour at a time, whether that’s from watching the news or seeing it all over social media.
I’ve just passed my 365-day streak marker on Duolingo but I’m not fluent in Spanish by any stretch of the imagination — but it is part of my daily routine and I’ve come to enjoy it — sometimes it’s 5 minutes before bed, sometimes it’s 10/15 minutes, a few times a day.
So, the challenge again
Check your screen time
Think what better users there could be, what you want.
Start day 1