If you have known me for a while, you will see how my social media profiles are more like a public journal that keeps updating. Almost every day, I post continuous updates on my thoughts throughout the day, the food I eat, the things I do, and so on.
Having an Internet business, my professional life depends on my digital presence. Continuous updates and consistent shared values play a major role in the success of my career. And through all of these, my total screen time soars over 12 hours daily. If I have up the collective presence of screens in my daily day, which includes:
- Laptop for professional use
- Mobile phones
- Social Media
- Content Creation
- Netflix and YouTube
The screen time is barely an hour or two, less than the hours I am awake.
Sounds scary, right?
The story does not stop here. This enormous amount of screen time impacts productivity throughout the day and creates an unhealthy mindset preventing the mind from cherishing the wholesome segments of life outside the screen.
Imagine being engulfed in a world for the most part of the day. Even if you exist in another, the world your mind is habituated to seems the most real. This affected me in almost negligible ways. And I realized this isn’t just my story, but a lot many people.
I noticed these minor impacts in others first before I realized I was affected too.
The primary side effects are these:
- We almost stopped thinking and analyzing. Everything seeks Google now.
- Any good scenario? Woooaahh! Time for an Instagram story.
- We live a better life through photos, Videos, and Instagram than on LIFE itself.
- Anything we see relates to an Instagram Meme/trend
- A little chime in the mobile phone seems more exciting and attention-worthy than anything else.
And slowly, inch by inch, mobile phones took their places everywhere.
From the workspace to the hallway to the dinner table, to the bedroom, and worse, even bathrooms!
I am guilty of these as well!
I can’t shower without songs going on! The eucalyptus shower is long gone!
The point is, almost everything in life has an inch of smartphone element in it. And going by it, I felt a lot of time wasted and a lot of mental space consumed.
I found myself scrolling while I should have been reading.
In a room full of people, everyone was seen looking at their screens, doing something immersive.
Uffff! I felt the absolute need for a break.
To establish a proper work-life balance or, to be more specific, to establish a proper screen-life balance, I made this shift!
I bought my first non-smart phone!
Yesss! I bought this phone last week, and it just cost Rs.4,500/-.
I bought it on Amazon, and they mentioned everything until UPI payments were there. But sadly, I don’t find the option for UPI payments which is a little disappointing.
On top of that, being in a business segment, I have over 4000 contacts that I regularly reach out and converse with. And unfortunately, this phone can’t hold that many contacts. I tried copying them to the SIM card, but that wasn’t productive either, as a SIM card can hold a maximum of 500 contacts and not more than that.
The disadvantages are real :/
But however, I do not want to give up.
Now you might say, why not uninstall the apps that distract you and continue using the smartphone as it is?
I agree that is beneficial. But isn’t there a difference between experiencing primitiveness from a hut rather than a bungalow without electricity?
I wanted to give myself the whole non-smart life experience and evoke the real smartness a human can bring in. Hence I decided to go for it.
So today, I switched to the device, and I felt liberated today.
I have 0 contacts on my phone. My old smartphone has WhatsApp, Instagram, and other apps I restrict to using only during business hours.
Since I am very much in the Internet service industry, that is vital. And I wouldn’t give up the richness of Social Media entirely too. So I have restricted myself to a few.
At the moment, I have now decided to have a severe downtime. Yes, not something temporary or a one-time thing, but rather something that would stay for a longer course of time. And that is — controlling my screen time to a larger extent.
The major changes would be I would be reachable primarily through calls and SMS. [Though no one uses them these days! Lol]
I am very much active on all my social media. But only during working hours and predominantly through a laptop as I plan to use mobile only for content uploads.
So this is my one step towards moving closer to life and away from artificial life’s assets.
A smartphone, as I see it, is a tool for improvisation. But seeing the current scenarios, and how it has become a tool for human existence is saddening. As much as I promote being active on social media, I would never promote living on social media.
So let me know what you think of this. If this inspires you, I am Glad :) Take the one step towards enriching your life in any way possible. This is mine. Yours can be any mode that you would love to have. As long as life takes an upward curve on your face, everything is a gem!
Until we meet next time, Live your Best Life!
$aranya Narayana Moorthy