You might remember last week I took myself off on a mobile phone ban. Let’s see how it went shall we?
My little experiment was brought on by 2 things:
- I was reading a book about how the future might look – mobile phones having been replaced by chips embedded in your skull (fun). It got to me a little bit because, however unlikely it is, it was a glimpse at just how reliant on mobile technology we’ve become.
- I had downloaded iOS 12 to my iPhone. One of the major features of the update is a feature called ‘Screen Time’, an app which calculates how much you’re using your phone, social media apps and even how many times you pick your phone up a day – I was shocked/ appalled/ amazed at my stats.
So. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat were all removed from my phone and a daily limit of an hour was set on using all other apps and internet browser on my phone (apart from What’s App which is my main messaging app). So far, so good.
Monday and Tuesday were absolutely fine. I used my iPad to access Twitter (a loophole, but it wasn’t my phone! I see your judgy eyes) and to do some blog bits and pieces.
Tuesday night however…
Mr Blanket-Fort came home with a surprise gift for me. An Apple Watch. I sold my soul to Apple a while ago so this was beyond exciting and of course the phone was out to set up the watch. Tuesday night was an epic fail on the no-phone experiment! Apps all back onto phone – with time limits set for the rest of the week.
Wednesday – Friday were okay, I wouldn’t say a resounding success but I was definitely on my phone a lot less and much more aware when I was aimlessly scrolling and I had time limits active. Having the watch is actually a good thing. Notifications come through on it that I can look at and dismiss without picking up my phone… it’s once the phone is in my hand that the aimless scrolling begins.
Saturday was my first proper day back on social media. I properly caught up on Twitter, Facebook and Insta and guess what… I felt quite anxious and a bit down. I don’t know if it was just “one of those days” but I have a sneaking suspicion that it was a result of too much time on ‘social’ media.
I think it’s fair to say I am addicted to social media. I have FOMO – a fear of missing out. HOWEVER. The Screen Time app, for me, is an absolute necessity now. It makes me accountable for just how much I spend scrolling my life away. And when my limit for the day is up then that’s it. People can still get in touch with me on What’s App or by phone and text, otherwise there’s nothing that can’t wait until the following day.
Would I recommend having a Social Media/ mobile phone cleanse? Yes. I managed to read 4 books in a week and felt a lot more ‘present’ in my own life when I wasn’t sitting wasting time with my iPhone.
So there you have it. I realised I had a problem of sorts… but I’m a thirty something adult. I genuinely fear for the mental health of teenagers growing up with this technology and it being their ‘normal’…
All credit for this image to the amazing RubyEtc