It was just another day for me, mindlessly scrolling through my phone when I received a message on a group chat with my friends. My friend had sent a screenshot of her phone usage, which made everyone want to check their phone usage and send a screenshot. We all noticed how our phone usage had shot up a lot in this last year (Around 6-8 hours), which ironically led to a long conversation about how we’re wasting so much time on our phones. This was something that played on my mind for a while; a thought occurred to me - if I spend 7-8 hours on my phone every day and sleep for another 7-8 hours, that’s literally 2/3rd of my day! I think this is what made it click for me - I was addicted to my phone, and more specifically, to social media. I didn’t even realize I spent one-third of my day just opening, browsing and closing apps.
These thoughts kept popping up and it made me ask myself more questions - the answers to which shocked me. I realized how my mindless scrolling on Instagram or Twitter had completely changed my sleep routine. There were days I’d go to sleep at around 4 am just because it was hard to get off Instagram Reels or because of some Twitter thread I was reading where two people were doing nothing but going off on each other. It also made me realize how easy it is for me to get distracted - whether it’s during a Zoom class or when I'm studying, the sound of notification completely throws me off from my work and before I know it, I’m on my phone.
So now I’m stuck with all these revelations that I’ve had about my phone usage and decided to try and take a break from social media. This means taking a break from Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube (I’ll try, but everyone knows how YouTube is like a casino in vegas). From this self-journey, I want to see firsthand how taking a break from these apps and reducing my screen time can help my life on a day-to-day basis. Is this all I need to do to fix my sleep cycle? Will I study better? Or will I just have more time to procrastinate? Anyway, the goal of this experiment is to find the answers to all these questions. Maybe you can relate to this article and join me in taking a (much needed) break from social media too. In a few weeks, I'm going to share my learnings from this experiment.
In a gist, here are a few things I want to see if taking a break from social media will help with -
Better sleep and a fixed sleep schedule
More focused on tasks without getting distracted
A better mental headspace
More time for me to do things I enjoy
More authentic connections with friends and family
Social media has consumed a huge chunk of our days and while it might seem impossible to fight this unhealthy addiction, it’s crucial that we try and reduce our screen time. Do it for health reasons, but also do it so you can spend your days enjoying the more important things in life.