Friday, 16 February 2018

Addicted to scrolling?

addicted to scrolling through social media

Hi. My name is Sarah and I addicted to scrolling aimlessly through my phone.

Have you ever had one of those autopilot moments? You know, where you do something or go somewhere and you have zero recollection of how? For me, Instagram, Twitter, Emails, Facebook, they're right there, loaded up, in the palm of my hand and I have no idea when I did it. But my thumb is moving, my eyes are glazing over, I’ll double tap every now and again to spice things up. 

I close the app.

10 seconds later I re-open the same app.

I’m watching tv, I’m reading a book, cooking the tea, whatever it is I’m doing, only half of me is doing it, because the other half has opened up Pinterest. Why? I honestly couldn’t tell you.

I can’t stand and wait for someone without opening up my phone. I can’t wait in line to pay without opening up my phone. Refreshing my feeds, scrolling, scrolling scrolling.

Is any of this sounding familiar? Hell I’ve already opened up Twitter and Whatsapp having only got this far into the post. Why? Nope, still can’t tell you.

Our smartphones really are wonderful things, I mean we literally have the world at our fingertips. But seriously, do we need it there 24/7? I can actually feel myself getting ridiculously frustrated with myself because I am just scrolling for no reason. I get headaches, neck ache, my eyes are tired. If I scroll too much too close to bedtime I don’t sleep. If I sit and just check in before heading out, I end up running late, because I just had to refresh my Twitter feed. 

Blogging means I can’t wholly take myself offline, and I wouldn’t want to. But what I do want is a break. Preferbly before RSI sets in in my thumb. 

I’m all for being active online, hell I have made some of my closest friends through blogging and initially tweeting/commenting. As a blogger and someone with a keen interest in digital communications I want a presence out there, I want to be active in the online community. But where is the balance? 

I’ve talked about social media detox’s in the past, and I swear, they are eyeball-life-savers. But it’s an easy thing to do when you have limited internet access - and these days, everywhere seems to be upgrading its wifi to force the scrolling upon us!

I was having a think the other day, whilst scrolling, about what I did before. Before smartphones, blogging, during the dial up days when we couldn’t go online if Mum wanted to use the phone - and even then we were limited to under an hour before surcharges kicked in. I’m not saying I want to go all the way back in the past, but it did have it’s charm. 

Well, I’ve admitted my addiction, now what? 

Short of chucking my phone in a lock box and swallowing the key, I’ve had a few ideas on knocking this habit on it’s head. 

Tech free time: Weekday evenings, come 9pm, I’m going to start putting my phone on the other side of the room. The laptop will be shut down too. That gives me around 2 hours before bed to wind down, binge watch Friends, read, or spend time with the Mr. At the weekend, I don’t want to see a social media feed before 12pm. 

Getting my hobby on: I love blogging, but I need some new hobbies that don’t require me staring at a laptop screen for hours on end. So I’ve cracked out the water colours and the colouring books and I’ve ordered myself a penmanship workbook too. Creative, calming, and requiring zero screen time! 

Cinema rules apply: You know those adverts just before the film starts that remind you to switch off your phone so you don’t ruin the film with your tinny ringtone? I going to apply the same rules to sitting down and watching tv/films at home, especially if it’s time spent with the Mr too. I won’t be switching my phone off but it has a fantastic do not disturb mode than I can switch on so only select contacts can get through. I want to be more present in the moment, and not miss major plot points!

No go notifications: I’ve turned off all notifications and muted most of my Whatsapp chats. So there’s no random pings calling me to scroll through my feeds and I can check in on my group chats as and when I want to, not because my phone is lighting up like the Magic Kingdom during the fireworks. 

FOMO: Hands down, I think the fear of missing out on something is what drives me to scroll, scroll, scroll. What am I going to miss? Seriously, what? Those tweets, pictures, pins, updates, they’ll all be there, probably forever, so will not seeing them the second they go live effect me that much? I think not hanging on every refresh will do a hell of a lot more for me!

Are you addicted to scrolling too? How will you kick the habit?

Until next time, 

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  1. I do this too and I hate it. I'm 30+ and I feel I'm acting as a teenager looking on social media so often. Your ideas are great. In the evenings, when I go to bed, I never have my phone with me, I'm reading or chatting with my husband. Maybe some rules would help during the day, because is mainly a waste of time. It's not like I'm chatting with people when I'm scrolling down on Instagram, facebook, or twitter.

  2. I've been using the Forest app which has been handy to stop me using my phone quite so much!! x

  3. Hahha so true. I have turned off all notifications and have done for around a year now. What’s app, Instagram etc and I am so concious of staying away from my bloody phone x

  4. I think I really want to start adopting non tech hobbies as well, because I like photography too but when I edit photos I'm just on my laptop again. I think I'm going to properly start reading again :)

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  5. I do this all the time . Even at work am constantly checking my phone .i certainly have “fear of missing out” ... However am certainly am going to try some non tech hobbies too