There have been a few reports in the press lately about phone addiction (again). Kids are addicted to their phones, parents are addicted, business folks too, everyone is. It made me think about how I use my phone and whether I was hooked to this gadget. I’m going to be very open and share my daily usage, perhaps you’ll be shocked, maybe you’ll consider my usage to be the same as yours, or less. Let’s find out.
Starting My Day with My Smartphone
Firstly, I do check my phone last thing at night and first thing in the morning (after letting the dogs out for a wee, feeding the little darlings and making tea). I use it for so many things that it made me think that it’s not the phone I’m addicted to, it’s all the apps. Here’s my morning phone routine, which is pretty much set in stone at this point:
- Check the time and any pending notifications such as emails and private messages that may pop up from apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord and Twitch
- Read my emails and highlight those that will need a reply once business hours begin
- Visit Facebook and check through the feed
- Visit Instagram and flick through the stories
- Perform a few tasks in the games I’m currently playing, which are Pokémon Go (yes, I have no shame), Animal Crossing (one of my favourite gaming franchises) and Design Home (I love houses and interiors!)
- Check the business pages and Hootsuite app to confirm that all scheduled posts happened as planned and no problems have arisen overnight
All of that probably takes about an hour or so. Then I get up and start the day, getting my news from Alexa along with the weather report. I’ll have my phone on me but I don’t check it unless there’s something I need to ask Google for (I love Alexa but she doesn’t have the knowledge Google has, yet) or if I want to take a photo. Please note, if I wake in the night I will check my phone to see the time and perhaps even go on Facebook, not great I suppose.
How I Use My Phone When I Go Out
I work from my PC and I have multiple windows open at any time – so I’ll use my phone to attend to any private messages, business and personal emails that have come in and keep an eye on my own social networks. I probably use it for a couple of minutes at a time, but in general, it’s left on the side. When I go out I:
- Track my steps with Samsung Health – Got to try and reach those 10,000 daily steps!
- Play Pokémon Go
- Listen to music via Spotify
- Share photos and stories with Instagram
- Check the weather
- Contact people via Facebook messenger
If I’m with friends or socialising I’ll keep an eye on my phone, mainly because I like to keep on top of work emails and monitor the social networks I post to (for work) or take a photo! I’ll also check Pokestops (that game has me hooked).
Night-time with My Phone
I’ll work again and not really touch my phone until I stop for food and won’t pick it up again for a few hours (unless there’s a question that Google must answer for me or I ‘need’ to take a photo). I’ll then check into my games and social networks for about an hour before doing whatever it is I’m doing that evening and then turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’ around 9 pm. Before bed I’ll repeat the morning tasks, adding in a quick check of tomorrows weather and the news. I’ve not timed my daily phone usage (is there an app for that?), but I estimate it to be around 3.5 hours per day! Yes, it’s a lot of time.
Phones are brilliant because they are so much more than a communication tool. They’re used to listen to music, reminders and timers, health monitors, entertainment, to take photos and write down ideas. I don’t think I have a phone addiction, I appreciate that I can do so many different things for work and for pleasure with one simple device. Could I stop using my phone – yes. I admit it would be a pain, but I could live without it if I really had to but then I’d need so many other items with me: a camera, a notebook, an encyclopedia, daily papers, thermometer, some kind of music player, books, pedometer, and so on. Could I stop using the Internet? No. That’s where my true addiction lies. I’d be interested to know how many times I say ‘ask Google’ or ‘Let’s ask Google’ in a week. I bet it’s a lot.