I’m not sure you guys are going to believe this mess right now.
This Spring, I said “I think I’m going to do a little experiment that authentically monitors my phone & social media usage so that I know how much I am on my phone when I’m not trying to NOT be on my phone.” Meaning I was going to pick up my phone whenever I felt the natural urge to. This included NOT doing social media free weekends. Last year on our wedding anniversary, a year ago this month, I did my FIRST social media free weekend as a “gift”.
Smells, colors, light, moments. Everything is better because you’re in touch with actual life and you’re mindful and that is so powerful! It’s back to the good stuff in life. It was so good, that first social media free weekend.
I actually did more after that! Occasionally, I planned out more social media free weekends and enjoyed them. And then, FOMO hit me.
I had no idea I had FOMO so bad guys! I mean, I KNEW I had it, because most people I know do and we all make it so obvious with our constant posting. Have you ever seen someone comment “so glad the news is out!” on someone’s pregnancy/life announcement so they are letting others know they knew first and aren’t NEW to the news? FOMO PEOPLE! In all forms! Even in the form of wanting to make sure people know you aren’t missing out and you’re SO in the loop! And guess what?! I’m so freaking guilty of it, too. That’s why I’m telling you!
Lemme state some things real quickly. I wrote lemme because that’s how I talk. Now let’s move on to the point, pal.
Whenever I am blogging about something, it’s because I very very deeply relate. If I’m writing about being kind, it’s because I’ve NOT been kind and people haven’t been kind to me. If I’m writing about (F)ear (O)f (M)issing (O)ut it’s because I experience it deeply and am just like anyone else who wants to feel loved and included. When I talk about business mistakes and things you shouldn’t do it’s because I’ve probably done them! All of my sharing is genuine, real and sometimes painful. So…let’s go there today. Let’s REALLY talk about what this phone usage crap is about because these stats shook me to my core.
Hi, I’m Amanda and I pick up my phone way too much.
I pick up my phone all the time because I feel the need to stay connected with people. Missing out on things makes me feel like I wasn’t invited and I was left out of something.
I pick up the phone all the time BECAUSE IT DISTRACTS ME FROM THINKING & FEELING.
I pick up my phone when my kids are being crazy and I don’t want to deal with them, especially during witching hours (4-6pm).
I pick up my phone when I want a false sense of productivity. Checking notifications makes me feel like I’m getting real work done, and of course, that’s not true.
And here’s the part I’m reluctant to share. I cried when I told Mike two nights ago when adding it all up.
I spent 9.54 days on my phone in two months.
READ THAT CLOSELY. I SPENT OVER A WEEK OF MY LIFE ON MY PHONE IN TWO MONTHS.
I did. I can’t deny it. It’s all there via the Moment App and I wanted to use the word ashamed but I’m not ashamed. I’m….sad. I’m just really, really sad. I can’t get that week back. 13,743 minutes, 229 hours, over nine days.
Friends, some of you will read this and keep spending excess amounts of time on your phone. You will. You will be annoyed with the thought of toning it down. But we are going to be leaving this Earth someday and my legacy to my children and grandchildren and family and friends can NOT be my phone in front of my face! And yours shouldn’t either! Are you on your phone too much? How do you know? Do you use an app? Let’s talk a couple more stats below:
I spent an average of 225 minutes a day on my phone, or 3.75 hours. The statistics from the Moment App say the average person spends four hours on their phone a day…so GUYS I am on mine less than the average person, and that is hard to hear considering I’m appalled by my own excessive usage!
I pick up my phone an average of 70.45 times a day. I think back to the days of being little and playing outside and in backyards and in creeks and think to myself, what would those experiences have looked like if we picked up our phones every couple minutes? I am grateful for technology but I miss those old days without so much connection. I don’t stop to observe like I used to. I’m buying into the rush and hustle but I have another choice and so do you.
I don’t have to succumb to the new world way and say that’s just what it is! We have a CHOICE!
I adore the ability to stay connected with people I care about, industry creatives I admire and learn from and we feel called to share about our mermaids with the world all because of a message I got five years ago. It’s the reason we share so openly. A young girl messaged me on Facebook and said she was resentful her daughter was born because it was with someone she didn’t love. She felt no connection with her. She saw my pregnancy with Cammy and the way I cared for her in such a deep way that it inspired her and everything changed. She fell head over heels with her daughter, and it changed their lives forever. That message that day told me to keep sharing. So, we do.
We think although it can be a source of drama and stress sometimes, if you utilize social media in the BEST ways you can, it can be an incredible tool. Here is my outlook on how to have a HEALTHY relationship with social media and phone usage, this is just a preview for our blog post coming this week with a healthy phone plan we are starting to use to get us back on track!:
*Stop arguing online & spending time doing things that advance your BUSINESS or DREAMS or HEART NOWHERE – before you comment or open the link, ask yourself, is this time well spent? Who could I love better right now? What work or life task could get done instead?
*Be intentional with your time online, do EXACTLY what you came for and set limits (10 minutes scrolling on others pages a day or in news feeds, tops! This is on our list we’re posting on the blog Thursday!)
*Download a phone usage app like Moment to stay on track
*Here’s the best! Schedule your content ahead of time and use things like your schedule option on Facebook Business pages and PLANOLY for Instagram! This keeps you from sitting with your phone open trying to decide what to post.
*The tip I LOVE and live by from Jenna Kutcher, never post an image on your Instagram/Facebook in real time (with the exception of quick and infrequent little Instastories). Wait until later when you can write a good caption and be IN THE MOMENT versus telling your friends or family after taking a picture “hold on I’m gonna post really quickly!”
Now, some factors rolled against me on that phone usage. GPS and podcasts DID count during those times but would it have been THAT much lower? Maybe a couple of hours. Generally, I was a jerk on my phone for 9 days in two months. UGH.
I’m leaving this blog post open and not completely answered with our social media plan yet, until Thursday. For the next few nights, Mike and I will talk about what we can BOTH do to not be on our phones as much, how to hold each other accountable and what a good plan looks like for us to gain a little control back. We have most of this written up but REALLY want to refine it and launch a challenge for you guys to be able to get on board with us and not spend too much time on your phone and get back to LIFE, without losing touch and following all of the people that positively influence your life and you love to get to know! 🙂 Keep an eye out for Thursday’s blog post!
Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!🙂