A few days ago my friend, K, said, “You’re really addicted to your phone. When do you think it’ll be time to put it away? I know you want to know everything that’s going on in the world but don’t you think you need to stop after a while?” While he was talking, I was still scrolling away. I was listening to him and agreed with him but still couldn’t put my phone down!
Last month, I installed a time-tracker app to notify me once I’d spent 4.5 hours on the phone. Initially, it had quite an impact on me – I stopped visiting Facebook completely, I limited my time on Instagram, spent most of my time just checking email, WhatsApp messages and reading useful articles. But a few weeks later, I was back to scrolling mindlessly and endlessly through Instagram and Facebook. While I do get to see a lot of amazing posts on veganism, food recipes, travel, ethical brands, spirituality, etc., I know I could and should limit my time and spend at least half that time differently.
I’d read somewhere that social networks act like drugs for our brain and it really seems to be the case. I think it’s to do with the instant gratification of wanting something and finding it online – whether it’s an object or an emotion. Sometimes one looks for inspiration, something to make you happy and have a heart full of love and awwwws on seeing something adorable, or an item to buy. And sometimes, when our ego gets in the way, we’re online to satisfy the thrill of judging what another has done and make ourselves feel better. Whatever the goal is in that moment, I should stop once I’m done getting what I wanted, but clearly once drawn in, I just cannot stop – clicking from one thing to another and hours go by in a flash! :O
On one hand, blogs and social networks have really inspired me – there’s so much to learn. But on the other, I know it’s becoming an unhealthy addiction when I can spend hours on my phone, not needing to converse with anyone, not being active and just lazing for hours. I realise it’s unhealthy and in some ways it’s even making me dull! So writing about it was one way of deciding to change my ways. Why wait until 2018 when we can start now? It’s time to put my laptop away now and get on the elliptical for some exercise. 🙂