Recently, I was tinkering with my iPhone when I found out that you could actually check which app was consuming most of your battery life. Although it didn’t come as a surprise, I was quite disappointed with my discovery that for the last 7 days, Facebook was actually taking 49% of my phone’s battery. I’m not proud of it. Of course, because everyone knows that being on FB isn’t the most productive thing to do on a regular basis.
Having said so, here are some of websites that you have probably been wasting too much time over.
Aren’t you guilty of reaching for your phone every time you wake up in the morning (or in the middle of the night)? Do you mindlessly and compulsively check on your Facebook account every minute or so? I am and it’s embarrassing. Aparently, FB is where most people’s days begin and end.
How many times do you have to update that status message, and how many times do you have to check on how many have liked the photo you uploaded just a moment ago? Facebook has become addictive, and why not, when those likes and comments can suffice for the self-validation we all yearn for? When it can give us the illusion that we’re doing pretty okay, and even better than we think (or at least, seem like it)? I’ve even read in a psychology article somewhere that scrolling through your own Facebook timeline can automatically boost your confidence because more often than not, we put our best selves forward on our FB pages.
It all seems harmless until you get into the tendency of creating alter egos and leading a double life – not to mention privacy issues (READ: over-sharing).
What’s stopping you from watching away when you’re all entertained at Maine Mendoza’s dubsmash videos from her pre-Yaya Dub days, when you’re having too much fun singing along to Adele, 1D or Taylor Swift or when you’re reciting hugot lines along with Popoy and Basha from One More Chance for the nth time? Nothing, except the thought that you could make better use of your time, of course. Don’t let that blinking cursor taunt you into searching for yet another video you can do without.
Looking at pictures can be relaxing, even more so when they tell something about the lives of people we like, are close to or those we idolize. We can follow our favorite brands and celebrities, get a glimpse of their lives on and off cam, and even go gaga over cute photos of babies and puppies. Yes – nowadays it’s quite normal to come across Instagram accounts of infants and even animals.
There’s nothing wrong about sharing snapshots of our loves, “exciting” lives, adventures, keepsakes and whatnot, but when you hold your phone way more than you hold gazes and hands, that’s a different story.
The micro-blogging site Twitter has become a key source of bite-sized news about practically everything. You go to Twitter to read about current events, to get inside your favorite celebrity’s head, to have a laugh or two, to rave or rant – whatever you are in the mood for. The website can be quite useful since almost everyone or everything that matters (and even those that don’t) can be found in it, but when reading tweets hinders you from finishing that paper or gets your eyes glued on your phone’s monitor too much you can’t even look at your mom while she’s talking to you, I’m sorry but you’ve got a problem right there.
After finding out that Facebook was my digital blackhole, I made my husband check his and found out that he uses 74% of his iPhone battery on a particular game on a weekly basis. After laughing with him about it, I remembered the times when I would give him this certain look that beckoned him to give his phone a rest and bond with us instead – sometimes while at the dining table, other times when we were out with our kid.
Being with a gamer, I’ve come to realize that gaming is a lifestyle. Playing games and following them through to the end is time-consuming and often requires one’s full attention (it’s pretty hard to multi-task).
If you want to tick tasks off from your day to day to do list and nurture your relationships, I suggest keeping a tab on how much time you spend on your games and make sure you are living out adventures in real life more than you do in the digital realm.
The need to disconnect
Let me make this short and sweet: you need to do something about your online habits because they are addictive, can be unproductive and unhealthy. Here are some suggestions on how you can lessen your internet use, curb compulsive internet behavior and instead, maximize the web as a tool that enriches your life.
- Set scheduled breaks and time limits. You may even set aside hours of non-internet time.
- Tame your email addiction and don’t keep social media apps and sites open during the day. Check them at specific times instead.
- Look to other websites other than social media to upgrade your life. Check out this wonderful list from Life Hack that promise to inspire you to “live a life full of knowledge, joy and inspiration.”
- And when all else fails: use apps that block familiar time-wasting sites. Common suggestions include FocalFilter (an app for Windows that blocks access in all browsers), SelfControl (an app for Mac that lets you put certain websites on a blacklist) and RescueTime (a time management and analytics application for “knowledge workers”). You may also get rid of notifications and out your ohone on Do Not Disturb mode.
Finally, use the Internet to enhance your life. The Internet should connect you to people who matter to you and not the other way around. Use it to deepen your relationships, pursue and research real-life interests and learn about the world – then put your newfound knowledge to practical use.