I’m sure I’m not the first to use the term “smartphone epidemic”. Smartphones are wonderful tools but they can also harm us. They cause orthopedic problems such as text neck or texting thumb (yes there is actual terminology for it), they mess with our sleep, they cause fatal car crashes and make people accidentally walk off of cliffs. And those are just some of the obvious, physical ways in which they can harm us. Of course, they can also save and enhance lives with GPS systems, easy and affordable communication with loved ones far away, reminders to stay on schedule, podcasts, the ability to rally a large crowd of like-minded people for a good cause, etc. But at the same time they can isolate us, make us less aware of our surroundings, and take us out of the present moment. We’ve lost the ability to simply wait and to self-soothe, how to deal with things in our lives without comparing them to others. For every important news article we find on Facebook or every connection we make with a long lost friend, there are five articles about make up artists magically turning into Kylie Jenner, how to make a cute tank top from an old t-shirt, or cooking videos that teach us how to cram 5000 calories into a single casserole. We post a picture and if it doesn’t get a certain number of likes, it somehow makes us feel inadequate. On social media, it’s really easy to give a fuck about things that don’t deserve our fucks. (Thank you, Mark Manson, for that concept.) Smartphones also use up a lot of our time. I estimate that on average I spend about one hour everyday scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, sometimes less sometimes more. For those not so good at math, that’s roughly 365 hours a year, or a little more than 15 full days. That is time that I could spend writing, cultivating new passions, or doing something good for my body.
Okay, I think you get it, I feel like I’m wasting precious time scrolling and I have attempted to curb this behavior many times only to learn that cold turkey is the only way for me to get a handle on this. I want to learn in what moments I miss the pacifier and if I will notice a significant difference in having more time and having an easier time being on time and staying focused. I want to figure out what the benefits of social media are that I’m going to miss while going cold turkey. The last 30 day challenge I did was the minimalism game and it was all about intentional living. What brings me joy? What do I need? What are my priorities that I want to spend my time on? These are the important questions that I continue to need answers to and I hope that the next 30 days of not scrolling through Facebook or Instragram will help me find them. Today, July 29th, is Day 1 and August 27th will be Day 30.
Normally, I share my blog posts on Facebook to get them in front of my friends but I’m not going to do that this time (for obvious reasons). I will write them purely for the small group of people who follow my blog, who somehow find these posts without Facebook. Here’s to 30 hours of time better spent.