A 2013 study concluded that in the 16 hours we are awake per day, the average person checks his or her phone a whopping 150 times. The report also found people check their phones an average of 23 times a day for messaging, 22 times for a voice call and 18 times to get the time.
The dopamine rush we feel when we check our phones is a real thing, comparable to a drug or gambling addiction.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my family and I went away for a few weeks at the beginning of July. I have become extremely attached to my cell phone over the last year or so. Not so much for email, for as apps and news – now that I am not in a traditional office environment it helps me to feel connected. I find myself repeatedly checking my phone, even when I don’t have an urgent need. So much so that I’m annoying myself, let alone the people I love and spend time with. So the evening before we left for the trip, I deleted all of the social media apps from my phone. ALL OF THEM. And I left them off for two full weeks.
This felt weird for approximately 24hrs. Then I started leaving my phone in my room when we went to the beach. I realized I was with almost all of my favorite people in the world and I didn’t need to do much additional “connecting.”
After about 12 days, I started to get itchy again. I found myself putting the television on and listening to the news while I packed to return home, so that I could reconnect with the “real world” again. But my will power held, and I avoided downloading any social media apps until after the trip.
Since that time I have been pretty selective. I downloaded Facebook almost instantly when we got back. I downloaded Instagram, but deleted it again after a week. I find I can live without that one, even though it is very pretty to look at. I downloaded Pinterest and then deleted it… and then downloaded it again. Pinterest is my favorite way to kill time when I need to wait. Kind of like carrying a few extra toys for a toddler. Personally, I am not feeling the need to quit my phone cold turkey, just to become much more aware of my habits. After all, as long as you aren’t ignoring the people you are with, it isn’t all bad.
“At the end of the day, we all live in this world together and to practice bringing peace onto social media is a huge step into bringing peace into our world.”
― Germany Kent
How are you managing your personal social media consumption? Are you conscious of how often you check your phone? Suggestions?
Please note that this post is about my personal social media use, not professional. As many professionals do, I keep client accounts and projects completely separate from my personal accounts.