Cutting down the screen time
I already knew that I spent a lot of time on my phone. Mindless hours scrolling through Instagram, so many minutes of my day liking Tweets and simply way too long watching funny Facebook videos... but then, Apple did something pretty darn insightful and honestly? So, so needed. They introduced screen time. A nifty little addition that quite literally tells you just how long you've spent on your phone, breaking it down into categories of what you've been doing and if that didn't stress you enough, they also went ahead and added just how many times you picked up your phone. And like I said, I knew the results would be bad... but not as bad as my phone told me they were.
Shock and disappointment aside, I knew I had to cut down my screen time. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the time I'm in on my phone, I'm on social media, mostly Instagram. The scary stats got me thinking, that actually, half the time I pick up my phone, I simply have a quick scroll and then put it back down. Ask me what I actually looked at or read in that few minutes of scrolling and I probably couldn't tell you. Because actually, I don't really consume what is on my screen. I skim read it but I don't really take it in. My verdict? I simply spend too much time on social media so it literally gets to a point where there is no longer a need to actually consume the content. I do literally nothing with the information in front of me, yet I apparently spend so much time scrolling through it all.
We could all probably do with reducing our social media consumption. It's a wonderful thing full of wonderful people being able to voice their opinions, concern and support but it can also be full of negativity and most certainly comes with an unhealthy dose of comparison and watching everyone else's life through a screen. We all know it's not healthy to be addicted to social media and all the demons that come with it. For me, something needed to change.
So, introducing a little list of just some of the things you could be doing instead of scrolling through Twitter. Just some of the activities you could spend your spare time doing instead of double tapping on Instagram. If your screen time shocked you as much as it did me, or if your thumb is feeling the strain, it's time to do something else. And here's what you could be doing instead.
I know that reading isn't for everyone but if you do enjoy getting lost in words or if you can't remember the last time you actually picked up a book and flicked through its pages (I know that e-readers are insanely popular but it really doesn't sound as poetic does it? Swiping through the digital pages...), it might just be the perfect time to get stuck into another world. One that isn't on the screen or requires a re-tweet.
As the evenings get darker and colder, there is no better time to snuggle up with a good book instead of the harsh lights of a screen. I used to be so into reading so I'm dedicating the last of my evening to switching off with a good book instead of staying awake on social media. Not only am I falling asleep easier, I actually feel way more fulfilled than just doing nothing in particular on my phone!
If you need some recommendations, have a quick read of this post!
02. Call a friend
Sometimes I feel as if the conversations I have with my friends are just replies to Instagram stories or likes on tweets and hey... where's the fun in that? If you need to quit your social media apps for a little while, there's no better opportunity to give someone you miss a call. I didn't even realise how little time I spend actually talking and conversing physically with my friends (the joys of long-distance friendships!) until recently so if you're the same, pick up the phone and give them a call. Better yet, pop out for a coffee and some cake if you can. It's heartwarming, fulfilling and honestly what is better than catching up with your best girls for a few hours?
03. Do that thing you really need to do
I can guarantee that right now you've probably got something waiting on your to-do list just needing to be ticked off and when you find yourself watching just one too many funny cat videos on Facebook (though, actually, I'm not entirely sure that is possible...), it truly is the perfect time to put the phone down and just get on with it. Not only will you feel ten million times better for it, but it's also finally done and dusted (and it's amazing at just how much you can get done when you're not scrolling through four hundred Instagram stories) and you've wasted no time tagging your mum in the fifth 'cat gets scared by a cucumber' video of the day.
04. Turn into Mrs. Hinch
Or at least just for a little while. Grab yourself a bottle of Zoflora (my favourite is Winter Spice) and a minky (if you know, you know...) and tackle something that could do with a little anti-bacterial action. Cleaning isn't always as fun as Mrs. Hinch can make out (gimme your motivation girl!) but, doesn't it feel amazing when it's done?! I recently had a complete Hinch of my bedroom, clearing out everything and literally cleaning it all from top to bottom and my god, it felt incredible (and thanks to my new Zoflora addition, it smelt it too!).
If you've spent way too long on Twitter, turn your time into something productive instead. It's rewarding and hey, there is no reason why it can't be fun too!
Oh, if you haven't got the whole Mrs. Hinch hype yet, go ahead and follow her Instagram. It's pretty incredible....
05. Realise the internet is so more than social media
There is just so much on your devices and screens that are so much more than just social media. I adore websites such as Refinery 29 for thought provoking and interesting articles and of course I love reading blogs with Victoria's and Chloe's being two of my favourites.
There is online learning, fascinating documentaries you can find online and just so much more. Expand your horizons and look for something new instead of opening and consuming the same old apps and content. It's truly amazing what you can find online.
And talking of online discoveries, I was recently introduced to Unique21, an online and affordable clothing store that just has so many wonderful and on-trend clothes. The leopard print dress I'm wearing in these photographs is from them and it is truly lovely! I was kindly sent it but I am so thankful I've been introduced to Unique21 and I am definitely already spying some pieces for my next order...
If you have an iPhone, did the new screen time application scare you too?! It's an amazing addition though and since seeing those completely unwanted statistics I have definitely been making more of an effort to cut down my screen time! But what about you, are you surgically attached to your phone?