Mindlessly scrolling through online content has become an automatic and at times neglectful option now that the majority of my time is spent sitting at home. It might be time to begin practicing social distancing from using my phone.
Increased time in self isolation, increased time sitting, and increased screen time.
I dare you to check your screen time usage on your phone.
I recently turned on the ‘screen time’ setting on my iPhone. My screen time is up 28% from last week. My daily average is 5 hours and 45 minutes. Total screen time over the last seven days is 28 hours and 46 minutes. THAT IS MORE THAN THE NUMBER OF HOURS IN A DAY. Fifteen hours of that was spent on social media, 15 hours!! 😲 Social media is valuable, especially during these unknown times where we are physically apart and connected by technology, BUT the amount of screen time we use now that we’re stuck at home can be a bit too much.
After the horrifying reality of my screen usage I decided that it was time to be more mindful while scrolling through apps such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.
I decided to set up social media rules for myself inspired by those shared by Jay Shetty on Ashley Graham’s podcast “Pretty Big Deal.” Listen here.
Rule # 1: Never look at your phone first thing in the morning
Are you guilty of reaching for your phone first thing when you get up in the morning?
Checking your phone first thing in the morning lets notifications enter into your brain before your body is given the chance to wake up. For example, when you wake up and reach for your phone to check your messages or emails you are starting the day on the terms of someone else. You’re letting those words or actions occupy your mind and potentially your to-do list. Don’t start your mind on someone else’s schedule. One way you could refrain from this is through waiting until you are awake and ready for the day ahead of checking your work emails and before replying to text messages.
Another suggestion I have for cutting back on looking at your phone in the morning is to buy an alarm clock. I realize that a reason I keep my phone near me at night is because it’s my morning alarm. Instead, try replacing your phone alarm with an old school alarm clock. This replacement removes the need to keep your phone close to your bed at night therefore decreasing the temptation to reach for it and scroll through social media apps first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Rule #2: Create ‘no social media zones’ in your house
I think this is brilliant. Jay suggested that these ‘no social media’ zones be in the bedroom and at the kitchen table. These are two places that we typically have human connections (if living with someone else of course). Personally I am making the effort to eat meals without technology in front of me, including the TV. There will be times when I finish my meal and don’t even realize it because I spent all the time watching a YouTube video or scrolling on Instagram. Are you guilty of this too?
Here’s another example of how a ‘no social media zone’ could be a great addition to your household. Most of us can be caught scrolling through our phones shortly after we begin a movie. Why not make the couch a no social media zone? Or maybe temporarily even keep your phone in a separate room while watching the movie? A simple modification like that could lead to decreasing screen time and increasing awareness of the task at hand.
Join me in my attempt to practice social phone distancing. I challenge you to initiate one of these above practices over the next week. Work toward decreasing your screen time while staying home during the pandemic. I hope to start choosing when I use my social media apps and become more cognizant of my screen time as opposed to grabbing my phone out of habit and beginning to scroll.
– Liv ✨✌🏽