This is a question I find myself having a lot lately — could all my time spent on social media each day be getting in the way of my life? In many ways, it seems almost unthinkable to ditch the daily feed, the social scroll, especially working in the media industry where everything is digital, everything is social, and everything is notifying you on your phone or tablet around the clock. But (and this is a big but), could all of my time devoted to social media each day be better spent doing other things? The truth is 100% yes.
On a normal day, I’ll wake up around 5.15am and head straight into the bathroom, yet find I’m not in the shower until 5.45am, purely down to scrolling through Instagram, checking out my favourite pages to see the latest posts, browsing Twitter, checking Facebook — heck, I even check the weather channels for the day’s temperature in Los Angeles (no idea why, it seems I have around 12,000 saved weather locations on my App) let alone my home town before jumping in the shower, where I then have to rush because I’ve wasted so much time doing frankly nothing.
If I’m being completely honest, I’d say I currently waste around 3 hours a day in total on social media — time I could be spent on other more important things. In those 3 hours I could write two blog posts, I could go to the gym, shower and get ready within that time, I could have lunch with a friend and still make time for cocktails after, heck if we’re going all out I could fly to South of France, go through customs and taxi it to a hotel and be sampling the wine list poolside in 3 hours! Put into perspective, it’s amazing to think just how much we miss out on simply by being glued to our phones.
Perhaps it’s a generational thing. I was born in 1990, so I went to school at a time when the Internet was actually a ‘thing’, I had a mobile phone at the age of 12 (and I was one of the last of my friends to have one), and by the time I was 17 I had Facebook, by 18 I had Twitter — by 21 I had TWO Twitter accounts… seriously who even needs two?! Instagram then happened and it was game over. And don’t even talk to me about Snapchat feeding the addiction.
Social media, whether we love or loathe it, does get in the way of our lives at some stage. It niggles me when I go for dinner and I see couples on a date and they’re both on their phones instead of engaging in conversation. The art of conversation has been replaced by a string of emojis, WhatsApp groups and meaningless ‘tagging’ in selfies. Or when you go to bed with your partner and instead of catching up on your day, being intimate or simply laughing with one another, you’re lying there silent with the only noise in the room being the tapping on the screens. It’s a miserable existence. Does anyone really want to live their life like that?
It seems we really don’t have all the time in the world. We don’t have endless time to enjoy our youth, to embrace good moments, to read those classic books, experience new places, watch those movies you keen telling yourself you’ll go and see but never do, dance with friends, kiss those we love, dine with our families and make memories. Perhaps those 3 extra hours a day would come in useful. So live life a little — your phone will still be there after.