Monday, December 31, 2018

Easy New Year's Resolution: Add 40 Vacation Days to 2019 by Cutting Back on Social Media

The average time spent per day on social media in 2018 for most adults is around 40 minutes: Facebook users spent around 41 minutes per day, Snapchat users spend around 35 minutes per day and Instagram around 30 minutes per day. Back in 2016 Facebook reported that the average user spent 50 minutes per day across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Depending on the age of the adult some spend more or less--for example younger adults spend more time on Snapchat and Instagram. (Source) While 30-50 minutes per day may not sound like much, added up over an entire year the numbers get startling when converted to eight hour work days. This seems more reasonable than converting to 24 hour days since (hopefully) no one is on social media 24 hours a day:
  • 30 minutes/day=183 hours/year, or almost 23 eight hour work days (over 4.5 weeks of vacation) 
  • 40 minutes/day=243 hours/year, or over 30 eight hour work days (six weeks of vacation) 
  • 50 minutes/day=304 hours/year, or over 38 eight hour work days (almost eight weeks of vacation) 
Imagine adding this amount of time to your life in the coming year! Even if you aren't spending this much time per day on social media (perhaps you are on Netflix?) consider these numbers:
  • 5 minutes/day=30 hours/year, or almost 4 eight hour work days
  • 10 minutes/day=61 hours/year, or almost 7.5 eight hour work days
  • 15 minutes/day=91 hours/year, or almost 11.5 eight hour work days
  • 20 minutes/day=122 hours/year, or over 15 eight hour work days (a three-week vacation)
In October I ended a one year Facebook/Instagram fast. In the past my longest break from Facebook had been about seven months and prior to that three months. Since ending this fast I've barely opened either tool. When I do I'm reminded of why I went cold turkey and stopped looking at it completely: I find it to be a time drain, a nearly endless string of posts that often don't improve my relationship with my friends and family. It seems to me that amount of non-essential posts such as check-ins at restaurants, posts about shopping or some link to a video is exponentially greater than the posts about something I really need to know.

s I wrote before, I really wish there was a way to get the most important updates and highlights from my connections without having to scroll through so much other stuff. Over the past year I've had more and more family and friends who have actually gone as far as deleting their account. I haven't done that...yet. (For more on that, check out this NYTimes article, Breaking up with Facebook is hard to do: Here's how.) But as I pay more attention to the amount of time I spend on social media and entertainment screen time, I've started thinking about what I'm not doing...and what I used to do years ago before these tools existed. It's not just Facebook that I'm monitoring. It's Twitter, Instagram, the Apple News Feed, YouTube, and more. Apple's new Screen Time tool is a great help with this personal monitoring as well as talking with my kids about their use and time allocation. 

So as I self-reflect and encourage my own family to monitor time on social media, I encourage you to do the same. Set limits and don't fill the extra time you gain with other forms of entertainment technology. As a family we continue to try to spend time together, playing board games, going on walks, sports, crafts, and even scheduling fun time together. Reflect on what you did before social media was part of your daily routine and help your kids, relatives and friends experience and build relationships through these activities, too, maintaining a healthy balance of social media and entertainment technology. 
Read more about this topic through these related posts: 

No comments:

Post a Comment