Did you know the average person spends 24 hours a week on their phone? That’s a ridiculous amount of time, isn’t it? When I looked up these statistics, on my phone I might add, I certainly didn’t expect anything this shocking. Mr Cheit had just told us we had a week and a half to write our speech, and like many of you, I couldn’t think of a topic. Do I do a set of drawers my grandad refurbished, or perhaps a sculpture my great uncle made for my mum.
It took me a while, but then I decided. There’s no object I love and use more than my phone. So far we’ve heard great speeches about many people’s treasures, but let’s be real. I think I know what most people really love.
I spent some time thinking a little deeper about why I treasure my phone. Surely it’s just a tool I use to communicate? While I would like to say I value the ability to learn and communicate that a phone gives me, sadly that is not the case.
In reality, most of my time is spent on social media. Social media platforms create a gratification system, where you are rewarded for checking back in with a new post or photo. This system of swiping down to refresh the page creates a feedback loop, rewarding you with new content. This provides the basis for a serious addiction that can affect everyone.
When I started this speech I mentioned that the average amount of time spent on a phone each week is a staggering 24 hours. I thought I would be much better and spend less than half that amount of time on my phone. You can imagine my surprise when I found I spend almost 30 hours a week on my phone. When I look at my most used apps, the top three consist of two social media platforms, and one game. In the last week, I spent an average of 8 hours on each one! When you get home, I suggest you check your screen time.
I know from personal experience that it’s easy to just check Instagram, or quickly browse reddit. This ease of use may seem good but in reality, it has a sizeable impact on our society. The average adult spends a minimum of 40 minutes of their working time on a cellphone, and I imagine students like you and I spend significantly more. This is ruining our productivity and increasing procrastination. There are multiple things you can do to help fix this. First of all, you can clean up your home screen. Like most of you, my home screen consisted of mostly social media and games. By hiding these in some way, you increase the time needed to access them, therefore making you less likely to just quickly check snapchat. Another way to help is to log out of social media, so if you want to check something you must spend more time logging in, reducing that ease of access. The third way is to set your home and lock screens to something discouraging you from wasting time. At the moment mine is. Tomorrow you will wish you had started today, which may be from a cheesy Nike ad, but it still gets the point across. Over the past week, I have been trying these methods, and I can honestly report an increase in productivity.