The iPhone has a nifty little function that tracks your screen time. I have mine turned on and it sucks. I hate that update at the end of each week telling me how many hours I spent on social media apps. Although social media marketing is a big part of my business, I have a very hard time with it. I love deleting social media apps from my phone and seeing how long I can go without them. I hate the black hole that Instagram can turn into and the never ending loop of satisfying makeup videos that is Facebook.
So I decided to do an experiment.
(Check out my other experiment here)
So I counted the books on my shelves that I haven’t read. I counted the hours I spend watching Netflix and Hulu. I decided to swap my screen time for books and here’s what I learned:
-After reading, I feel accomplished. Like a goal was set and I met it. After watching hours of Netflix, I feel sick, almost ashamed.
-When I read, I learn! Weird! The books I tend to read are psychology, lifestyle, research focused. When I read these books, I end up using their lessons to help me counsel clients, give recommendations to my family and friends, and help my own life flow smoothly. It makes me feel like I have my life together… just a little bit.
-When I read, I feel like a good role model to my son. It makes me cringe when I have my son in my lap, then look up every couple of moments or so to watch what I have on Netflix, when I look back down, his head is turned towards the TV, obviously interested in what I am looking at. Hopefully, when he sees me reading, he will enjoy/be interested in reading as well.
-Reading is not a passive activity. It takes work. You have to read the words and interpret their meaning, then integrate what you’re learning into your bank of knowledge. Watching TV, scrolling through social media, or watching a movie are all passive activities. I had a hard time making myself read when I really just wanted to “check out”.
-I missed the “white noise” of the TV on in the background. I am home most of the day when I don’t have work meetings, so it’s just me and a babbling 3 month old baby and two barking dogs. Not much conversation going on… well on their end, at least. Sometimes having the TV on is just nice background noise
-Restricting social media means you miss out on things. Lot’s of people plan events on Facebook, if you’re not checking that, then you might miss out. Still undecided if this is a positive or negative effect.
-The time I usually spend scrolling (before bed, when I wake up, while watching TV, at my desk instead of doing work) was actually put to good use. When I don’t check Facebook first thing in the morning, I actually get out of bed sooner and start my day. When I don’t have Instagram to check, getting my work done takes less time.
After this experiment, I decided to find some kind of “healthy balance” of social media, “Netflix and chilling”, and reading. Reading is an invaluable practice that impacts every area of my life positively. And I need social media to connect to my client base and better my business, so there has to be a middle ground.
This screen time detox has definitely helped me set healthy boundaries with my screens.
Have you ever done a screen detox?