The constant buzzing and beeping blaring from our hand-held devices immediately consumes our attention. Even without realizing it, our concentration breaks for a split second as we realize that we have received a new friend request or a notification; causing us to lose track of something we were reading, interrupting our conversation with a friend or forgetting an important thought as we were trying to crank out that essay 3 hours before it’s midnight deadline. We, of course, casually try to ignore, as if to prove to the world that we are different and not completely consumed by our phones.
The recent apple update has not helped anyone’s sanity as we now get a weekly update on how much time we spend on our phone on a weekly and daily basis. When I first received my update I was shocked. 4.5hrs a day? I was not only shocked, but also embarrassed that I had dedicated that much of my life looking at a small square screen. Yes, some of this time was dedicated to watching tv shows in the evening or doing research for school; still, I knew that this was not contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
A study by Psychology Today revealed that the typical smartphone user picks up their phone over 85 times a day. Which, to me, sounds like our society is losing its productive workers since we are constantly on our phones.
After doing some more research and uncovering some more fear inducing facts, I knew it was time to make a difference. I have turned off the notification feature on my phone for most of my apps. Unsubscribing from the various e-mail chains has also massively reduced the amount of times that my phone rings or beeps during the day.
What steps do you take in order to reduce your phone time? Or have we simply accepted that phones are now part of our everyday lives and that it is normal to spend 4-5 hours behind the screen everyday?