Screen Time. It’s a hot topic right now. I’ve read numerous articles that explain the effects it has on the brain of a child. We all know the more screen time teenagers have the more likely they are to be depressed or anxious. There is so much focus on what it does to the developing brain and rightfully so. My question is, what about the adult brain? Are our brains getting lazy because everything is spelled for us? We don’t even have to remember how to spell something because our phone does it for us. We no longer remember phone numbers. What are we as adults doing to keep our brains sharp?
I am addicted to my phone. It’s hard to admit that. Yes, I feel ashamed. I don’t think I’m alone in this admission though. How many of you immediately reach for your phone or iPad as soon as you wake up? Maybe even before you left the bed? How many of you fall asleep scrolling through your phone? Do you know how much time you’re spending on your phone a day? Thanks to Apple I now know and it’s kind of embarrassing.
In the last week, I spent 25 hours on social media. I spent over 3 hours a day on social media viewing other people’s lives. That’s a big chunk of my day. That’s time I could be spending playing with my kids, reading a book, tackling the house project I keep putting off. Instead I sat on instagram viewing other people’s lives. I could explain that I had a sick last week and was asked to cuddle for the majority of two days. BUT even while cuddling I had to spend time on my phone.
Last year I read about a woman who decided to stop getting on her phone immediately once her alarm went off. She questioned why she was starting her day by looking at what other people are doing. It brings on anxiety. Literally. ‘Oh look at her she already worked out. I need to go workout.’ ‘And he made an amazing breakfast, I wish I could cook like that.’ ‘And maybe I should take up knitting.’ ‘Maybe I should redecorate my house.’ ‘Oh I really need those shoes. But do I. But oh I want them.’ All of this before you may have had a cup of coffee. Most mornings I teach, but on the mornings I don’t I try my hardest to sit in silence and enjoy a cup of coffee. I usually get up before my boys do and the days I avoid my phone my anxiety is less and I end up spending less time on my phone throughout the day. Some mornings I don’t want to just sit and there is a big urge to get on my phone. Instead, I’ll do 1 of 3 things.
1. Write down what I’m grateful for. Cheesy, right? Turns out it is actually good for the soul.
2. My to do list for the day. I usually do this the night before but sometimes I don’t. And some mornings I wake up with a lot on my mind.
3. Goal writing or any kind of list writing. My friend gifted me a book of 52 lists and sometimes I’ll work on one.
These things put off grabbing my phone for at least a half hour. Maybe more. And by the time I’m ready to check in with my phone I try to do only email or text. It’s hard. It’s a work in progress. I would love to get to the point where I have certain points of the day that I check my phone. Rather than picking it up over 20 times an hour. That is an accurate number. On the mornings I teach I do not get on my phone except to put on spotify for my class.
How much time do you spend on your phone? What are you doing to cut down on your screen time?