Screen Time Awareness
This is a hot topic for a reason, white hot and getting hotter, while also a quicker read than the usual articles.
Click. Tap. Scroll.
Before you waste more time looking at a screen, ask your self if your actions are of a necessity for something.
Or if they come from an automatic habituated response.
Mobile phones are particularly bad in terms of time wasting.
I cannot emphasise this enough in regards to social media and applications in particular:
THEY ARE DELIBERATELY ENGINEERED TO KEEP YOUR ATTENTION!
Interacting is cigarette smoking for the mind.
Awareness Creates Rules
Before you click or tap on something, be mindful of your actions.
If you’re interacting with your technology in a habitual response, you’re like a pigeon that’s pecking at a disc to release food in a B.F. Skinner experiment. Except this time, the pigeon is you, and the screen time that websites and applications generate from you is enough of a reward for them – even if you think it’s a one way transaction with ‘free’ content.
If nothing else you’re losing your time.
You can excuse your self if you have good self control and discipline and usage of the web are purpose driven and any ‘silly scrolling’ or browsing is a short burst of fun before something of relevance calls you back to the real world. Some cat videos are essential viewing.
It is easy to fool one’s self into thinking hours of screen gawking are not wasting time.
It is wasted if:
- You’re not achieving anything
- You could be doing something more useful
- You’re not learning anything
- Your mood is being effected
- Your sleep is effected
- Your attention is effected
- Your relationships are being effected
- You spend more time than intended doing it
There are countless studies that highlight the terrible effects of mobile phone use, not least using them in bed and messing up your body clock thereby impacting your sleep, as if a world that operates on sleep deprivation as a standard needs more anxious, tired, confused people operating any heavy machinery or making decisions of any importance.
I’ve caught my self in the screen time suck many times.
And I have to remind myself not to allow myself to get pulled into mindless – literally mindless – browsing and scrolling and clicking.
It is very easy to lose track and piss way time on needless electronic pursuits such as the criminal over-checking of emails.
Screen time is joked about, but it is an addiction for some and a mild one for many others.
Like, drinking, gambling, drugs, sex, smoking or caffeine (which usually manages to escape being mentioned regarding addiction).
The automatic electronic habit of using a phone or other device can and does kill productivity.
The mental health risks and effects are even more serious.
My aim here is not to demonise something that is a remarkable feat of human achievement. The information at our disposal on a web connected device is phenomenal, mind-blowing, an incredible resource to be valued.
Considering the immense range of accessible information on any given topic you can imagine, it would be a crime to your self to spend time online without expanding your knowledge, or to waste it getting absorbed in surface level nonsense.
Have a think.
About your habits relating to technology use.
Are they serving you well?
If not, make changes. Only you can make them. And even mild addiction to screen time can take a bit of conscious adaptation. Be mindful of your actions and when you catch your self automatically checking a website or app, really question the action.
Try working on your discipline too: give your self a set time to look at Instagram for example, and stick to the limit you agreed on with your self.
And finally, think on this and be honest: Are you your mobile phones bitch?