Wednesday, 6 December 2017

"There's an app for that"

Duh!  Of course. Why didn't I think of it before!?!? There's an app for everything!!!

Hi. My name is, Derek. And I'm addicted to my phone.  

Sound familiar??  I'd say most people would say this in our world today.  

It truly is an addiction. I know I have a problem.  I know it's stupid.  Yet, it keeps happening.  Some days I'm better than others.  Sure I need my phone for work. But some days, it's ridiculous.  Whether you're on social media, texting, playing a game, checking email.... we use our phones WAY too much.  I will say that personally, I'm good with certain rules;  at night (quite often between 8 or 9pm, my phone is shut down completely).  What does that do? It makes us miss out on actually LIVING and BEING. 

I'm better in certain ways now;  At sports events I might take a couple pics between whistles or just as the game starts, but I no longer take in much of the game on my phone. I want to actually experience, the experience.  Same with pics while out hiking etc.  Sure there's some awesome picture opportunities, but most of the time, it makes it even more worth it to take the picture with your mind and eyes only.  

Many of us admit we spend too much time on our phones, yet nothing is done about it, and we continue to live in the technology in our hands, rather than actually live life to the fullest and experience life.  

I watched a CBC marketplace on YouTube at the start of the week, and it was about cell phone addiction. It mentioned an app that can be downloaded for free to track screen time.  It was a total "DUH" moment for me. Such a simple thing - why didn't I think to look and see what's out there for this.  Maybe by actually seeing quantitative results of how long I spend on my phone, I can gradually decrease the amount of time I'm on it.  

There are several apps available to track screen time. I downloaded the app called, RealizD. It's free, gives nice graphs and layouts each day, breaks your day down into your heaviest usage times vs lightest, how many times you pickup your phone, total screen time etc. 

The results from just my third day of using this app are shocking (and sickening).... Here's some stats for you; 

Monday (app download day) 
- I only logged 2h 44m total screen time for the phone, but in that 2h 44m I picked it up 44 times! 

- My first full day with the app.  I ridiculous 6h 57m total screen time on the phone.  
107 pickups. 
 Average pickup interval time: 6min. 

Wednesday (today) 
- I'm posting this blog post at 3pm on day 3.  So far I've logged 4h 35m total screen time.
 47 pickups.  

Granted, these stats of mine are NOT GOOD at all, I know for a fact I'm much better than others (which is a very scary thought).  Looking at this, we need to consider how it impacts not just our minds but our body as well.  6h 57m yesterday total screen time translates into that amount of time where I'm so preoccupied with my phone that things like movement and posture alone, I guarantee have been forgotten.  Almost 7hrs in the day that I've just put my body through awkward positions and completely ignoring function in the body/mind.  

I would HIGHLY recommend everyone download one of these apps and see where you're at with your smartphone usage.  Scary part is, this isn't taking into account;  laptops, tvs or other devices we stare into on a daily basis.  

This is your "ah-ha" moment for the year (maybe the next few years).  Use this to start your journey to choosing healthier habits.  I know I am.