The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I was never too concerned about my screen time. Despite being on my phone a good amount throughout the day, I thought my screen time was a couple hours max. That’s until I checked one time what my daily average was. Five hours. Five hours a day I was on my phone, and the majority of those hours was accumulated through social media. I was mortified. Almost half of my days were being spent staring at my phone, mindlessly scrolling through social media. I didn’t even truly enjoy being on it. It was more of a distraction than anything, an impulse even. But as much as I wanted to put down my phone, the thought is much easier than the action. If I were to tell myself to just stop using my phone as much, or lower my screen time significantly, it would never stick and I would never follow through. A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast and I heard something that completely changed my perspective:
“You have to reframe less screen time as time to do other things.”
While this might not sound incredibly profound, it was like a switch flipped in my brain. For some reason I had never thought about this way of looking at things. When I pictured putting my phone away for most of the day, I felt as if I would be plagued with boredom. As If not using my phone would leave me with nothing to do and an urge to pick it up again. When in reality, I have a to-do list filled from top to bottom with tasks. And even if every single one of those tasks got checked off, there’s a running list in my head of activities or errands or workouts that I could do. There are books I want to read, and hikes I want to do. Friends I want to spend time with and movies I want to see. Endless things that would fill my life with joy rather than have it sucked away by my phone.
So if you’re trying to spend less time on your screen, reframe the way you look at it. Switch your perspective from the thought of taking away something from your life, to the thought of actually adding so much to it.