As our time at home increases, our time on our phones increases as well.
Since March 13, I have spent about 60 days at home watching the housewives, eating bagels, taking long walks, and watching more housewives. Every Sunday since my last day of school, I have dreaded a number that appeared on my screen: my weekly screen time report.
Before stay-at-home orders were put in place, I spent about four hours a day on my phone because I had school for about seven hours a day, work after school, and loads of homework; I did not have the time to binge watch, binge eat, and listen to music or Governor Cuomo every hour of the day. For the first couple of weeks I was fine with it. I went from four hours to six hours to eleven and even fourteen. Some of my peers went from less than five hours a day to 15 hours a day. Around the third week of no work, no school, and no contact with anyone but my iPhone, I realized my eyesight was not getting any better. The year 2020 does not equal 20/20 vision and I realized that the hard way. I also realized I was not being productive or doing any form of self care. Mind you, being quarantined in no way makes it a productivity contest, I just came to the realization that I did not like what I was doing and that I personally wanted to increase my productivity and decrease the time on my phone.
To increase my productivity time and lower my screen time I decided to enable a feature on my iPhone that limits the amount of time that I spend on specific apps. I set a 45 minute time limit on all of my social media and shopping apps that I do absolutely no shopping on but just add things to my wish list. Another thing I did to lower my screen time was create a daily schedule on my reminder app, so for almost every hour of the day I am doing something productive. From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. I have school, and in between classes I make sure that I am doing the assignments assigned for that day. From 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. I do yoga; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. is a full two hours of creativity (writing, drawing, painting etc.) and reading. From 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. I do thirty minutes of exercise—anything from riding my bike that I am constantly falling off of, YouTube workouts I give up on 10 minutes in, or my favorite, taking walks at the park by my house. Anything after 4:30 p.m. is up to me to decide.
I encourage you to find ways to get off your phone, not only because you could use that time to find a new hobby, learn more about yourself and spend time with family but because you do not want to have as much bad eyesight as I do. Believe me, you do not. I encourage you to use this time to try a new food, play a game with your family, or make some Pinterest craft. It is all up to you.