With the world domination of social media in recent years, it feels like an uphill challenge to try and make a stand for moderate and responsible use of the entertainment devise that is ready and rearing to go in our back pocket, handbags or even right there in our hands, at a moment’s notice.
There are pros and cons to the vast world that we can scroll through, and the training wheels that used to hold us in place and monitor these views are now well and truly off. For some, they weren’t ever in place to begin with.
We are conditioned to have social media accounts, to discuss them in regular conversations, to reference them regularly, to pick up your device mid discussion and show the article/image/video/text or email whilst conversing with friends or colleagues which honestly, is rude and unnecessary. And with the full awareness that I’ve become part of the problem and the social media culture that has us currently mind washed, I’m actively trying to stop this for myself, and I’ve come across a hack that will revolutionise your life.
I recently watched a video of Carly Rowena’s in which she discussed hacks that have helped her in her day to day life. Whilst waking up at 5 am may not be the one for me, optimising my phone’s downtime, is.
Downtime is a function that you can adjust within the settings and screen time feature.
As you can see in these images, there are certain apps that are dark – noticeably, my ‘networking’ apps. I’ve set my downtime to stream during my working hours and after 9pm allowing all distractions and temptation to scroll and check notifications to disappear until I’m ready.
A feature that will hopefully be improved during the next few phone updates will be to individually select the apps you’d like affected here as right now “networking” is a broad term. However, as much as I would like to be able to access my photos, or WhatsApp without them being classified as networking I can easily do this as shown below.
By clicking the darkened app that I’d like to use, I can do three things; rethink if I need to be trying to access the app, use it for 15 minutes or take make it accessible for the rest of the day. For example, I have an embarrassing habit of opening my phone and landing on Instagram without thinking about it, meaning to or needing to. I’ve done this before out of habit when I’ve been meaning to open my phone banking or Spotify. Not good. It’s too much. Now, I can click and if I mean to be there, I select 15 minutes because everything you need to do on there can probably be done in that time. I do what I need to, schedule, reply to DMs, check whatever needs checking and come back out. I can use this 15-minute feature as much as I need but the barrier between mindless app selecting and notifications pinging away is controlled.
There are of course, many other ways to put measures like this in place such as utilising Do Not Disturb, Airplane Mode or even timed alerts within Instagram, to name a few.
It takes a strong person to sit and work alone for the day without checking their phone or playing something through headphones and so to turn our phones completely off seems ridiculous and unnecessary, making Downtime very appealing.
|Pros to social media||Cons to social media|
Unlimited knowledge and recourse|
The ability to store and share memories
Small business promotion
Union and comradery
Without limits, we can lose ourselves to it|
The black hole of time that is created
Instant gratification – I see, I want, I buy it now
Other people involving themselves
Linked rates of suicide
Anonymity – keyboard warriors
Having been trialling Downtime, I can recommend it as a feature that has optimised my working day, mental health for lack of scrolling, productivity for want of using my apps having had time away to develop ideas for exactly what I’d like to post or say.
However you decide to use your allotted time on any social platform and in real life, I urge that you do so with kindness and with awareness for lack of context.