On a typical day in your life, how much time do you spend staring at a digital screen?
If you add everything up—scrolling on social media, answering emails, Zoom meetings, browsing the Internet, shopping online, texting, reading on your tablet, watching Netflix and YouTube, using GPS to navigate around town, and/or playing video games—how much time is it, per day?
What’s the grand total?
According to the Nielsen Company audience report, the grand total is a little over 10 hours per day. That’s the average for most Americans these days.
10 hours per day is 3,650 hours per year.
Assuming you start using tech devices around age 20, and stop around age 75, that’s 200,750 hours over the course of your lifetime.
200,750 hours converts into 23 years.
I don’t know about you, but the idea of spending 23 years of my life staring at a digital screen just feels…not okay.
In my “hut” (heart + gut) that number doesn’t feel acceptable.
That’s not what I was born to do. Frankly, I don’t think any human being is meant to live this way.
So, what now? Well, we have options. We can take charge of the situation. We can set new policies. We can get creative. We can make different choices. Just because “most people” spend 10 hours a day glued to a screen doesn’t mean you must, too.
You want to make some changes?
A few good places to start:
– Create new household policies. For instance, no phones inside the bedroom. Or, make Sunday a tech-free day.
– Decide to work differently. More efficiently. For instance, dive into your inbox. Set a timer for 45 mins. Answer emails as quickly as possible. Then decide, “That’s enough for today,” and get outta there. No need to putter around for 5 more hours.
– Set firm limits with social media. Create a plan that aligns with your values. This might mean posting one gorgeous pic on Instagram daily to promote your business, then logging out. It might mean creating a private profile for family and friends only. It might mean not using social media at all. You can become a social media “dropout” like myself, and I assure you, the world will keep turning. :)
– If you run a business, or freelance, create a marketing plan that feels healthy and balanced—one that doesn’t require you to be online 10 hours a day. You don’t have to do that.
– At least once a week, take a walk and leave your phone at home. You don’t need it. Admire the world. Gaze at the sky. Look up, not down.
– Reconnect with off-line activities that bring you joy. Write a card and mail it to your auntie. Practice the ukulele. Perfect the art of snuggling. Play fetch with your dog. Hold your kids tightly. To the best of your abilities, live like it’s your final 24 hours.
I love technology. I’m grateful for the Internet.
But (in my opinion) 23 years is way too much time.
Technology should make our lives better, not worse.
It’s important to be intentional and purposeful, or it can rapidly become a never-ending time suck. Decades. Gone.
This is your one, precious life.
Make sure you’re using tech, and it’s not using you.
PS. Want more clients, more money, less time online, and a calmer, gentler way of “doing marketing”? Registration for The Marketing Without Social Media Program closes on July 5, a few days from now. Kick-off meeting is July 6. Join soon.
In this program, you learn how to promote your work, strengthen relationships, and get plenty of sales using no-social-media options—including personal emails, creative newsletters, snail mail, and unexpected acts of generosity.
You’ll leave this program with more clients, a calmer brain, a new attitude about marketing, and a healthier relationship with technology overall. Less scrolling. More joy.
See you inside!