How many of us feel that we aren’t addicted to our smartphones but we just spend a reasonable amount of time with it while allotting time to our friends and family as well? How many of us know that that isn’t true and we are all in denial? Guilty as charged? Maybe this app will serve as an eye-opener.
As I was aimlessly browsing through Quora (my new favourite addiction), I came across a question along the lines of how do I spend my time more productively. Seeing that I was already so productive (sarcasm) I decided to read the answer which led me to install an app called RealizD. The basic premise of the app is this: it calculates how many times you pick up your phone and for how long you use it before locking the screen and what is the time interval between each pickup. Seeing that I was already in denial about my smartphone usage, I gave it a whirl yesterday although I didn’t read too much into it because it was the end of the day and I was just on my phone to relax (yeah right!). This morning however, I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and from that time till 9:30 a.m. (the time I reach office), I had used my phone for:
Notice how it shows the timing from 6 a.m.? Because, even in my sleep, I felt the need to check my smartphone to see if I have missed out on anything important.
So, in the 2 hours that took me from waking up to reaching office, 1 hour and 4 minutes was spent at me looking at my smartphone with the longest usage being 38 minutes. The 38 minutes was during my commute from home to work and was all spent on playing Candy Crush and checking Facebook. Another interesting thing to note is my pickup interval, which was 5 minutes. Basically, half my time is spent on a smartphone with me not being able to stay away from it for more than 5 minutes. Shocked? Sadly, this is the reality for many of us isn’t it?
You may argue with me saying that there’s nothing you can really do on your commute to work and that those 38 minutes were justified. But, how many of us looked outside to see the city that we lived in? How many of us made pleasant conversation with the person next to us? How many of us wished someone a good day? We were all so busy hunched over a smartphone, ‘keeping in touch’ with people away from us that we forgot to forge an actual human connection with the people next to us? Can we not take that half hour to compose ourselves for a busy day ahead instead of being so overloaded with information from the second we wake up that we get burnt out by the time we have lunch? I’m not claiming to be perfect, I mean, you saw my score. But this really was an eye-opener for me.
Ironically, I am glad that I opened the Quora thread and learnt about this app. This app has put my entire life into perspective by eliminating my denial that I spend enough time outside of my smartphone. I am trying to change myself. Because, if I can’t stay without opening my smartphone for more than 5 minutes, I am addicted to it and it’s an addiction that I want to overcome at any cost.
*Unfortunately the app is only available in iOS for now. We are waiting for the Android version.