Is Social Media/Screen Time Taking Up Too Much of Our Time?

Is Social Media/Screen Time Taking Up Too Much of Our Time?

Things I’m good at:

  • Crying at almost anything
  • Constantly losing the TV remote
  • Drinking Gin
  • Making poached eggs
  • Getting RSI from scrolling so frantically and frequently on social media

Screen Time Monitoring

Now, I’m no techno geek but I put doing an iPhone update on the excitement register up there with Friday at 5pm, sticky toffee pudding and Christmas morning….. okay maybe not quite that exciting. There is some sort of strange thrill about discovering what weird and wonderful things apple have come up with next. I did the update a few weeks ago and the “screen time” function has been a revelation, albeit very, very concerning.

I am very good at pretending that I am never on my phone but I know I mindlessly scroll too much when Im bored/lonely and sometimes that leaks into time with friends and family because it’s just picking up your phone for the sake of it without even realising you’re doing it. Or, because all of your friends are sitting on their phones so there’s little else for you to do apart from join in!

I defend that I have to be glued to my phone or as I like to call it ‘socially active’ because #blogger. There’s nothing worse than feeling you’re missing out by not posting your autumnal picture or not being involved in or at least witnessing the latest twitter beef.

Day 1 of the update and was feeling pretty sassy that my screen time would be minimal because I’d been a hard working career girl all day and therefore couldn’t possibly have spent all day on my phone…..

I casually checked the settings and somehow I’d actually spent quite a lot of time on my phone and at 1 point I’d picked up by phone 19 times between 11am-12pm.

I thought, 19 TIMES, 19 bloody times, that’s once every 3 minutes.

At that point I realised I needed to sort my shit out, stop living through my screen and implement some changes so I get out of the habit.

Small Changes

I quickly started fiddling about in the settings and managed to impose a  social media limit and wondered if 2 hours was completely impossible or would be completely liberating. **spoiler** 2/3 weeks in is it’s both. It was clear that when I was work I wasn’t actually spending much time on my phone I just kept picking it up to “check it” as if your phone doesn’t light up and do a little dance when you get a notification??!?? My work is quite causal about phone use but I’d gotten into the habit of responding to anything immediately as if it was life and death. So the phone went in my bag (rather than on my desk) and checked every so often rather than every 3 minutes.

When I got home I’d start putting my phone in another room…. lol who am I kidding my flat’s only got 2 rooms, so it went in the only other room available. I’d stick it on charge and try and leave it. When I had a bath I’d take a book or a magazine. When getting ready in the mornings I would leave said phone on my bedside table. 

Reclaiming My Time

It’s been pretty lovely to remember what it is like to do things other than get lost in a Pinterest hole, stalk your favourite Instagram hashtag for 728 minutes or scroll through uninteresting Facebook updates. 

Things I’ve done whilst reclaiming my time:

  • Read a book in 15 hours and it would have been much less if i didn’t have to sleep in between. Ps would highly recommend – Adam Kay, This is Going to Hurt
  • Listened to a podcast and lots of radio (Don’t salt my game and Radio 1, obvs)
  • watched and enjoyed GBBO without my phone anywhere in sight. Yeh live tweeting is fun, but Rahul asking what’s funny about humping is fun tenfold. 
  • Bought and read a magazine (obvs picked it because it had Florence on the front) and I got a free gift too. It was a benefit contour stick for anyone who cares. I of course haven’t used it because I’m scared of new make up and scared of contouring.
  • made soup and roasted chickpeas (am I okay hun?)
  • Sorted through all my paperwork….. boring I know, but necessary.
  • Made a lasagne in time that would usually be spent being a lazy slug on the sofa.
  • Learnt 2 songs.
  • Dipped into 3 books that I’ve had on my read list for a while (Fearne Cotton Happy, Body Positive Power and the Secret)
  • Wrote two blog posts, which is a bloody miracle as I’ve been creatively as dry as a frigging cactus these last few months. 
  • Meditation – yes it’s wanky, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. 

Since being more screen time conscious, not only has my screen time decreased by 38%, but I have done so many things for me (for once) and to improve my mental wellbeing. Constantly having an unachievable ideal thrown in your face on all forms of social media is draining and depressing and makes you feel inadequate so having a break from that has been a breath of fresh air. Of course on some days the 2 hour limit was smashed out of the park because I was home alone and bored and lonely and feeling sorry for myself so to get out of my head I focussed on mindless scrolling and that’s okay, because we’re not perfect, bloody hell, it’d be a boring old place if we were.


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