Phone screens. Phone screens absolutely everywhere. It must have been a whole different ball game when a human being’s biggest distraction was doodling in their notepads, daydreaming into the deep abyss of the mind or perhaps reading a simple newspaper.
Learner’s in my classes can’t help but check their phones on autopilot; they don’t even know what they’re checking for, but on an impulsive urge that occurs on average about every 10-15 minutes, they just have to have a look. The worst part is, come break or lunch time, the first place I reach for is my pocket to have a look at the backlight. I will say that it tends to be to check messages from my lovely girlfriend but I often find myself scrolling Instagram soon after I’ve sent the message, only to wonder what satisfaction I thought it would bring and to question what I was really looking for in the first place.
As far as people go, I would argue that I spend less than the average person browsing the internet. Recently I’ve gotten into podcasts and it’s even meant that my preferred ‘down time’ activity of watching content creators on YouTube has been over taken by listening to informative information passed on by the likes of Joe Rogan, Ben Brown and most recently Sarah Dietchy.
I’ve tried to start listening to podcasts at meal times to. Due to leaving my laptop at my girlfriend’s house, I came to realise that I had fallen into a habit of watching YouTube whilst eating meals. Almost like a ritual, I would ensure I had my laptop open and ready before sitting down to eat, as if the meal was not complete without the entertainment. We live in a privileged world where food is so easily accessible that I don’t feel satisfied just eating it, I need some form of entertainment to go with it. For some reason, I feel sort of wrong about that. So, I’ve decided a listening activity is far better than watching, mostly non-informative, throw away content. It sorts out the issue of eating alone in silence but breaks away that habit of feeling the need to watch something in order to feel satisfied by my meal.
Even at work, I now try to steer clear of the internet during breaks or pockets of planning time. If there’s a spare 5 minutes where I don’t have enough time to do anything productive but have enough time to do a little something, I tend to doodle in my journal or write down plans or ideas. Although on apprehension of doing it, I don’t feel like it’s going to satisfy me as much as a quick scroll on Instagram might, as soon as I’ve done a little doodle or got my idea down on paper I feel as though I made a lot more use of the time than I do when having a quick insta-scroll.
I’ve read various items about the addictive qualities of certain social medias, and whilst I don’t really feel the urge and addiction towards receiving likes or follows, I can definitely relate to that habitual opening of an app or website without even really knowing why I’m doing it. When I first started writing this blog, I noticed that I spent even less time on social media which felt great. Hopefully posting every day again will have a similar effect.
What do you readers think? Do we all spend far too much time on social media? What incredible creations do you think we might come up with if we didn’t spend so much time on it all?
Today athletic update: This morning, my girlfriend and I swam a comfortable 2 miler. We’re also out on an epic walk today, although this is less to do with training and more just to do with well-being.
Peace & love.