Dear Beautiful Brown Girl…
So my phone has this new tool where I can track my screen time or the time spent on the phone. Thank goodness for this app! It has helped me to realize just how much time I actually spend on my phone. I was seriously embarrassed when I realized that I spend over 5 hours on my phone each day!! Not cool! That is almost a full day of school. And even worse…. can you believe that I pick my phone up and hit the home button 130 times a day. I have decided to make a conscious effort to spend MUCH less time on my cell phone. Why? Because I can’t help but think of so many more things that are a much better use of my time. Now, I have to admit, I do work from my phone. I check and send emails, I make necessary purchases for my business, I communicate with community partners, I check on orders and customers from my store and I ship packages when necessary. My phone in essence is my small pocket sized computer and it helps me to get work done when I am away from my office. BUT guess what- the screen time app actually tells me WHERE I spend my time also and it wasn’t pretty. I spend way too much time on social media. So I identified a small problem and came up with a solution. I took the initiative to put some restrictions (or limitations) on my screen time. For example, I have time limits set for my social media apps. And once I reach that time limit – they shut down for the day. Now if necessary I can still get on the apps; however, when I attempt to do this I am reminded that I have reached my limit and I am given the option to get on for a few minutes. This extra reminder is great. It is a small nudge to help me make better choices. If what I am going on the app for isn’t related to business, and I have reached my limit for the day, I make a conscious decision not to open the app.
So why is this important to you? Because I know I am NOT the only one that spends wayyyyyyyyyy too much time on a device. How much time do you spend on social media apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram in a day? How many hours do you spend on YouTube in a week? When you are spending time on these sites, how many times are you told something positive? Are you taught something new? Or, do you find yourself watching videos or looking at pictures simply for entertainment? If that is the case, there isn’t anything wrong with that. The purpose of this post is to encourage you to begin monitoring your time and the information you consume, or take in while on your device, especially when the information lacks a positive message or doesn’t teach you anything new. Why? Because it isn’t healthy. Just. That. Simple. Spending several hours in front of a device taking in messages that aren’t positive or intellectually beneficial can be harmful in many ways.
Too many hours on social media is harmful and unhealthy because:
- You are spending a great deal of time doing something that isn’t super productive. You could be spending this time doing something else that could bring you joy and have more satisfying and beneficial results. Some of these things can be: writing in your journal, researching something that you would like to learn more about, sending a loved one a letter just to say hi, talking to a family member about your day, cooking up a new recipe, trying a new science experiment, doing a good deed for a neighbor and the list can go on and on!
- Spending too much time watching the computer, tv or cell phone screen can damage your eyes, cause headaches and make you sleepy.
- You may be using bad posture when looking down at the device making your neck and your spine uncomfortable and could cause problems later.
- Spending too much time on your device could cause you to be inactive for long periods of time. This could lead to unhealthy weight gain and fatigue
- Ultimately and most importantly, spending long periods of time on your device may have a negative impact on your school work.
So now what? Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, do better.” So this is where your personal challenge begins. All I want you to do is make a conscious effort to decrease the amount of time you spend on your device. When you find yourself spending too much time on your device, put your phone down and LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE! Your light can’t shine if your face is in your phone!
I know you can do it. So to help you, I have something for you! I have a very cute screensaver for you to download with my reminder to you to “Let Your Light Shine”. Every time you pick up your phone I am giving you a nudge. This is a reminder that you can make a choice. Will decide to do something different instead….or, will you burry your face in the phone and let time pass you by? Think about it.
Now be clear, I am not saying you have to completely give up social media and never get on your phone or tablet again. I am saying just cut back and make good choices concerning the information you choose to take in. Are you up for the challenge? If so, take a selfie doing something fun and productive and NOT on your phone (you can consider the list I posted above). Tag us @dearbeautifulbrowngirl #LetYourLightShine and we will give you a super shout-out on our page!
Are you going to try and decrease your screen time? If so, tell us about it below in the comment area!