What is even considered a phone addiction?
Can we say that a screen time of 6 hours of our day is healthy?
Maybe if we can track that the 6 hour habit is getting us to our goal.
For me, that was NOT the case.
It all came to me while spending time with family at a local organic cafe.
My brother and I were ripping on my mom for being on facebook too much.
“What if you just read a book instead? Are you getting any value on there?”
This prompted all 3 of us to compare screen times with each other.
Winning will be defined as having the lowest number in screen time.
Like a good ol’ round of golf with the boys on a breezy Sunday afternoon.
My mother definitely wasn't having her best round — 7 hours 22 minutes.
My brother looked sharp out there clocking in at 3 hours 45 minutes.
And for me? Well, let’s just say I was well over my standards of par.
In fact, it is the sole reason I am writing this article today.
6 hours 3 minutes.
Immediately I justified my score by saying it was all messaging with friends.
I had recently gotten off Facebook and had gone all in on Instagram.
Instagram was a way for me to be me.
To share my energy authentically with friends.
To feel “connected” during this time of living alone.
Or was it a disconnection?
This is where the principle of reciprocity pulled my identity from under me.
As people respond I felt the need to consume their content and engage back.
Just a few scrolls on the feed and a season worth of stories does the trick.
And as I scrolled, I “tuned” into hundreds of different posts.
Each one different from the last.
Coaches posting content to turn interested followers into leads.
Another full-body HIIT workout — no gym required!
A business “guru” asking you to swipe up for his million-dollar secrets.
Cute girl tries hard to impress with her outfit while shuffling to Tiesto.
I may have found the secret to why I was depressed and distracted.
You see the behavior social media teaches us is to be shallowly engaged.
It’s like if you were to scroll all the channels on TV just to see what’s playing.
…and then never watch any of them.
And in all that channel surfing you get overstimulated by possibilities.
Possibilities of the things you can do.
How you can look.
The money you can make.
And the life you’re not currently living.
So I made the decision to actually watch a TED talk on the topic.
It was called “How To Get Your Brain to Focus” by by Chris Baily.
In it, he described his theory of how screen time overstimulates the mind.
You see, by filling the in space in between our work activities with phone time;
We actively shut down our mind's ability to generate new ideas.
His proposed solution was to cut his screen time to 30 minutes per day.
Within 1 day of watching this, I cut my screen time in half.
Instead of taking my phone on walks, I took my old ipod with headphones.
Rather than responding to messages on my phone, I did so from my laptop.
If my cat was being cute AF, I basked in the joy instead of posting it to stories.
Within 2 days I had cut my screen time even more.
Then something happened.
A post that triggered an old part of my identity.
Something I had been over for years.
Letting that feed exist was like keeping the cabinets stocked with junk food.
It allowed destructive stimuli the ability to enter my environment.
And this changed my state in a way that is not conducive to being my best self.
So, I took my finger and did one long press goodbye on that pink camera icon.
Now, let’s see who wins the next round of screen golf.