I remember a time when smartphones weren’t a thing. I remember when the only time I spent staring at a screen was once a week in ‘computer lab.’ When the extent of my virtual conversations were my email inbox that went eternally unchecked. I remember when my mom limited our TV time to one single episode of The Brady Bunch right before bedtime.
Nowadays 7 & 8 year old’s are walking around with personal smartphones and nobody is even questioning it. I’m horrified at even the amount of time my own son spends looking at a screen every day. Binge watching Netflix is considered an acceptable pastime, and weather we like it or not it’s something that we all do.
How much time do you spend looking at a screen in just one days time?
If I’m being honest with myself, I’m ashamed of how much time I waste scrolling. And I don’t even consider myself addicted to my phone.
Cell phone addiction has been found to be associated with an assortment of bodily and cognitive complications including loneliness, depression, and anxiety. And this is only the beginning of the research that has yet to unfold, as smartphones are still a fairly new phenomenon.
It’s easy to get lost in the scrolling. Just like it’s easy to get lost in the hours we spend binge watching TV shows. Many of us get home from a long day at work or school and settle in for some ‘digital resting’ as a way to pass the time to unwind. I know that I watch a lot of TV, hence the reason this is on my loooong list of adjustments to be made in my life.
In the same way that continuously scrolling through our social media sites is detrimental to our self-esteem, TV can be a sneaky way to infect our brains with toxic thinking patterns. I also think that watching so much of it is incredibly destructive to our imagination. Instead of giving our mind space it needs to interpret the world, TV literally hijacks our original thoughts to redirect them to whatever agenda is currently being played out.
So now that we agree that the amount of screen time we subject ourselves to may in fact, be a problem, what are we going to do about it? There are several apps for both iPhone and android that were developed to help us with just that! The options range from free to not-so-free, which means no one has to be excluded from benefiting by them! I personally like the Quality Time app for android. It shows me exactly how much time a day I spend on each individual app on my phone, and also shows me how the alarming number of times I have unlocked my phone within one day.
Can you imagine a world with no TV or scrolling time? If these two things weren’t such a prominent pastime in today’s society, how much more productive do you think you would be? Think about if you seized all the hours in a week that you spent staring at a screen, and then applied that time toward achieving your goals. How much faster do you think they would be achieved? Do you think you might find room to grow creatively? Would you consider honestly evaluating your personal smartphone usage/ TV time?