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When Your Screen Time Goes Down, Your Happiness Goes Up

With the new iPhone update, Apple users can see just how much time we spend on our phones every day. Embarrassing or not, it is important to know this number for us to have a foundation to work upon and improve. Being on one’s phone has become more of a way to avoid personal confrontation with others and less of a good thing. Having a phone in one’s hand 24/7 only allows us to miss living in the moment and to live more in the world of social media. While this may come in handy in certain situations, overall, this is taking away from living life to its fullest potential.

 

Being wrapped up in Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook can lead to some serious happiness issues. Every day one is seeing what they don’t have and what others do. You see someone on an amazing vacation, someone bought a brand new car or someone who is just in better shape than you. This leads to a domino effect of constantly comparing ourselves to others. We ask ourselves what are we doing wrong, that they’re doing right? It is a constant battle of wondering why we aren’t good enough. And that isn’t okay. With the daily struggle and stress already put on us, individuals don’t need this negativity too.

If positive posts on social media can affect one that much, imagine when the posts shared are always negative. On Facebook, especially, you see the daily news and everything bad that people want to advertise. Someone committed a crime, a politician lied or any other negative event that one could think of. And while it is always important to be up to date and informed on some of these topics, focusing every waking hour on it is detrimental to our mental health. We start to think that everyone and every place in the world are bad when that is not the case at all. Some reporters just think readers will find negative stories more interesting to read. This can lead readers to assume that everything is bad and that there is no right in the world. Social media seems to put a cloud over readers’ and viewers’ eyes so that they see only what the company or other posts want them to see. Imagine if instead of four hours a day on our phones, we only spent an hour. That would give us extra time to read actual books, work on schoolwork, work out or do whatever else actually makes us happy. 

 

Another negative aspect of screen time is the constant comparison that comes with it. I know we all have looked at someone’s post and wondered why we didn’t look like them, have as nice clothes as them, or have as cute pictures taken as them. That leads to negative energy festering in our minds about ourselves, which leads to a negative overall mindset. A 24/7 comparison will easily break down ones’ self-esteem. And instead of allowing us to do this damage to ourselves, we need to build ourselves back up. 

Reducing the time on our cell phone will lead to better communication skills, less isolation from our peers, and an increase in our overall happiness. According to www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, being addicted to your cell phone reduces one’s relationships and decreases the overall welfare of an individual due to depression and loneliness. Young people, especially women, are more prone to phone addiction that can ultimately lead to these mental health issues. Communicating face to face and appreciating the moments we’re living in currently may lead you to a happier environment to live in. Next time you notice yourself spending too long on your phone, maybe take a couple of minutes to break up the monotonous feed of social media and do something different and exciting. You may end up surprised by how much better you end up feeling.


Edited by Madison Greer

A freshman at West Virginia University, majoring in English and hoping to double major with psychology. Enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and spending quality time with friends. Other than writing articles, she also is an editor for Her Campus and an Alumni, Marketing, and PR coordinator for WVU's division of Camp Kesem.
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