By Jillian Broaddus and Chuck Cusumano
Well, scroll long enough to finish this article, and then rethink your scrolling habits!
It’s no surprise that smartphone screens dominate our time – especially during the days of lockdown. According to one source, the average person checks their phone 96 times per day – that’s once every 10 minutes! In particular, scrolling through social media occupies 142 minutes of our time, daily. Imagine what you could accomplish with an extra two and a half hours of time, if we weren’t scrolling through Instagram and Facebook all day long!
However, the time drain alone isn’t the biggest issue. An article from Forbes boasts a frightening but true headline: Scrolling is the New Smoking. In it, Diana Rau explains why social media has the same effect on our bodies as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Here’s why:
Social media usage doubles loneliness – In fact, those who visited any platform an average of 8 or more times per day were three times more likely to feel isolated.
Social media usage triples depression and leads to higher suicide rates.
There is a significant linear trend between social media usage and sleep disturbances, which leads to an entire host of other health issues.
And, finally, social media usage leads to increased levels of addiction and anxiety.
While a lot of us are still working from home, the lure of our smartphones can also play a major role in increasing distraction and decreasing productivity. So, what can you do to combat the urge to scroll? Here are a few tips:
Go on Airplane Mode and turn off push notifications
Go cold turkey! Delete apps from your phone for at least one week, and see how you feel. After a week, evaluate: did that app bring joy to your life that you missed, or did it feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders?
Go old fashioned! Use an alarm clock to wake you up, instead of your phone’s alarm. This will help prevent you from using your phone upon first waking up. Better yet, plug your phone in far across the room, so you’re not tempted to use it while lying in bed at night, either!
Go far! Speaking of the above, put your phone far away while working: the other side of the room, or even the other side of the house if you’re not expecting any critical calls.
Go for small doses and set a timer for phone usage. You may feel like you’re treating yourself like a child with this one, but sometimes that’s what it takes! Set a timer when you start scrolling, and force yourself to stop when the timer goes off.
Go greyscale! Consider putting your phone in black-and-white mode. Colorless apps are a lot less enticing to look at, and you may find yourself naturally putting your phone down even before your aforementioned timer goes off!