When I say my phone is a huge part of my life, I’m sure many others can agree with me. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep at night. It's almost addicting. Since I’ve gotten my phone at just 10 years old, I just can’t spend a day without it.
What's weird about it is that I never feel good after I’m done but I still continue to use it. Scrolling on TikTok for hours, liking people’s posts on Instagram, it's the same routine every single day and it has completely ruined my confidence and self-esteem. Overall, I’m not as productive as I could be if I didn’t have a phone.
So I made a decision to try and stop using my phone for a week and see how it affected me and my life. To be completely honest, I failed to not use my phone. There were some days that I didn’t use it much, and one day I even got my screen time to 6 minutes for one day (which I was really proud of). And most of the other days my screen time ranged from 4-8 hours.
The first day was a little tough and I didn’t know what to do once I got home from school so I got really bored fast. I would constantly pick up my phone while working and I wasn’t that good at keeping it away from me. It definitely didn’t get easier as the days went by because I wasn’t used to not using my phone much, which is why I would keep picking it up.
These phones are little but they’ve definitely made a big impact on many people’s lives, especially teens. According to a study by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, on average teens spend 9 hours on their phones every day which is not good at all. Many people feel disgusting or lazy because of how much time they spend on their phones and not being productive, but they don’t do anything to try.
Video designed by Haset Tesfaw.
Not finishing your homework or getting enough sleep because of your phone can lead to consequences that many young people won’t understand until they learn for themselves. I was, and still am a person that uses my phone too much. But phones are here to stay and we need to learn how to control ourselves around them and to manage our time correctly.
Alecia Louigene, a student at Malden High, who also believes that phones are bad for our mental health said, “Social media is a toxic thing because people tend to believe everything they see on social media. I feel like we don’t see the real world as it is, because our world now is basically technology. We’re literally living our lives through technology and we're addicted to it.”
Although these little devices can be big distractions in our lives, there are so many positive things about phones too. You’re able to stay connected with friends and family even if they live all the way across the world, you can capture all your memories in it, and you can set reminders and alarms to remind you to do things.
But for most people the negative things about phones outweigh the positives. One of the big problems is the lack of sleep people are getting because of their phones. I know that it’s hard to not use your phone before you go to sleep, but it's always better to pick up a book and read instead. The blue light that the phone beams right into your eyes, can lead to a disturbed sleep and can ruin your sleep quality for the rest of the night. Plus reading before bed can give you a break from your screen and social media, and help reduce your stress.
The second and third day was when my screen time got higher. When I looked at the screen time I was definitely shocked that it went over four hours because it honestly didn’t feel like I used my phone that much. Honestly I was close to giving up by the 3rd day because even though it seems like a very little amount of time, it felt like forever for me.
The rest of the days went by and I continued to constantly use my phone but not as much. It was obvious, looking at the screen times that I gave an effort into trying to not use it. Obviously I failed because the whole point of this is to not use it at all. I was glued to my phone just like before this week. At times I would even get headaches because of how much time I spent on screen, but I still wouldn’t put it down.
At the end of the week, I reflected on how much my phone affects me and how much I plan to use it in the future. Hopefully I can learn to control myself around my phone and use it less so I can enjoy every day to the fullest.