Read this article and then go outside

Justine Picard, Guest Writer

The average person spends about three hours on their phone each day. That’s around 1,460 hours every year. This results in close to 61 days worth of time that you could have spent with loved ones, exercising, reading or resting. We all need to stop being on our electronic devices excessively and start experiencing life – right now. 

Those lost 61 days represent two months of losing touch with our surroundings and wasting our solitary chance at living life to the fullest. It has now become more normalized to be on your phone when you’re in a boring situation, as opposed to just doing nothing.

In Jan. 2016, a study was done to evaluate the changes in posture and respiratory functions based on the duration of smartphone usage. They concluded that prolonged use caused distorted postures, such as forward neck posture and slouched posture, which can lead to respiratory dysfunctions. 83% of participants who experienced a change in their breathing pattern were caused by their neck pain and faulty posture, hence the cover of the study, a depiction of what scientists predict people will look like in 2100.

Having the posture of a 94-year-old person while you’re still young should not be normalized.

Nonetheless, there is no argument that technology does not have its benefits. It has advanced our jobs to be more accessible, made travel more convenient, allowed economies to prosper and given us an overall  higher quality of life. 

I am not arguing about the benefits current technology has brought us. Rather, I’m arguing against the excessive usage of it. People might enjoy the wonders of life more if they learned to restrict their technology usage.

As fellow students, you may relate to my experience with procrastination. When I had too many assignments due for school, I would constantly use my phone to relax. Yet when my break ended, I realized I turned a five-minute break into an hour-long pause. Going on my phone did nothing for me except bring me closer to spiraling out of control because of the stress.

A study was conducted with 6,445 adults and students from the U.S. to learn more about the rabbit holes people can easily get trapped into as a result of scrolling too much on the internet. They concluded that if you watch easily accessible, uninterrupted content, you are much more likely to continue scrolling.

On the other hand, people need breaks, it’s not a bad thing to have breaks! The University of New Hampshire states that our brains are able to maintain focus for around just 45 minutes

When taking much-needed breaks, there are plenty of other methods people can use in order to relax, instead of being on their phone – such as taking 10 minute breaks to do nothing, and just enjoying your leisure time.

An important skillset for people to learn in the face of this technological revolution is that of doing nothing — rather, allowing one’s thoughts to flow one at a time.  Doing nothing has the potential to calm you, slow your breathing down and allow your mind to enjoy its peace and quiet. When the time you have dedicated to resting runs out, you’ll feel less stressed and more at peace with yourself and others.

It may take some time to resist  urges to consume more media, but we must remember that boredom is a normal human emotion. We have normalized doing something every second of the day, to such an extent that any free time we have is solely devoted to our phones.

That’s why I strongly hope that people begin to reconsider the daily amount of time they put into looking at their screens, and start being in the moment and having good memories to look back to.