I was in the fifth grade when my mom picked me up from school one day; and decided to take me to AT&T and brought me a cell phone. She said that “It would mostly be for safety purposes because i would start riding the bus home on tomorrow.” My first cell phone was called a Motorola Flip-side. I already had a tablet; so I was familiar with all the popular apps and had social accounts. Those apps were kik, temple run , fruit ninja, and instagram. As time went past; I became more dependent on my phone. I gained more friends to text and discovered more apps to download.
Now i am currently a sophomore in college at Coastal Carolina; and my phone has become apart of me. It has literally become my life inside a 64gb device. It holds some of my biggest secrets and documents! The pandemic made our connection even worse. Everything had been closed for months and to keep up with everything i had to use my phone. I have started to take advantage of some of the things my phone has the capability to do. This project is simply going to help me by ruling out exactly how much time i spend on my phone; and actually doing what? How can i fix this controlling habit and stop letting it control me? Will my habits get better?or will my phone continue to be a constant distraction?
Smartphone Compulsion Test ( Entry One )
Thank you for completing the Smartphone Compulsion Test
from the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction (CITA).
You scored 12 points out of 15 points total.
Scoring: 8 or higher- If your score is over 8 you might consider seeing a psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist who specializes in behavioral addictions for a consultation.
I was very dissapointed in myself after taking the compulsion test because my score was very high. I am more attracted to my phone than i ever thought i was. I automatically knew i would receive a high score after answering yes to most of the questions. This test described my smartphone usage perfectly.
I use my smartphone mostly for social media platforms and communication. Mostly social media which I’m ashamed to admit. Throughout the day when i get a notification; or even when my phone does not alert me at all, i find myself picking it up. Even in my free time or when i shouldn’t be on it at all. I constantly find myself rotating between the same app i was on 5 minutes ago.
My usage predictions
Daily Time Spent : 8 hours
Amount of times checked : 150 or more !
I do have a job and sometimes i do attempt to put my phone down and focus on what i need to do; so some days are just a little bit lighter phone usage than others.
This is why i am so addicted to my phone. These apps are so time consuming and are a distraction. I cant even gain focus or even prioritize because of social media. When i wake up in the morning the first thing i do is pick up my phone and refresh an app.
My favorite social media has to be between snapchat and instagram. I spend more time on snapchat; so it has to be the tie breaker. I also have a twitter; but twitter is really not the app for me. It doesen’t really entertain me so during the pandemic; I discovered a new app and it has become very popular; tik- tok. I usually get on it when there is nothing new going on in other apps and tell myself “Okay Kyra 30 minutes.” Thirty minutes turns into 2 hours !
Time for Data Break !
It has been a month in a half of tracking my usage; and below is a graph i have created in excel to break my total usage down in hours; from September 7th until now.
When observing this chart my usage has been very scattered. Some days tend to be very heavy; while others and light and moderate which was expected.
BLOG ENTRY 5 : PLAN AWAY
After completing numerous blogs and tracking my usage; i have came to realize that i have a smartphone addiction. Below are three important aspects that i believe will be helpful in allowing me to scale back on my usage.
Work Life Balance: Being a Full-Time college student and having two part time jobs creates a balance for work and life and makes it harder to be on my phone all day; this is and important step to creating the work-life balance. This allows me to only have certain time periods for everything throughout my day that needs to get done.
Keeping a Schedule: Have a certain time frame for everything is a biggy especially for college students. Usually I have class from 10–12 on mondays,wednesdays, and fridays. Then i work from 2–8pm. After work i usually start on homework, eat dinner, take a shower and go to bed; because I’ve already tired myself out for the day.
Stay Accountable: Stay responsible for your actions and always priorotize. Being an adult at the end of the day and realizing you have a problem and taking action matters the most.
The Experiment ( Tommy Hilfiger )
Today it is 1:52pm and my work shift is from 2–8pm. I am going to leave my phone in the car for my entire shift. Normally i always take my phone inside and get on it during break and periodically when i get a new notification or if there aren’t any customers inside the store. My prediction is that i will suffer during the shift if we aren’t busy; due to not having my phone to keep me company.
When my shift was over the first thing i did when i got to the car was crank up; which was improvement because i didnt grab my phone. Today was a very slow day at work and i spent most of the time on shipment; which consisted on unpacking our new items and putting them in backstock.
It is currently 8:42; 42 minutes after my shift and i am still in the parking lot at my job; sitting in the car. I had 5 missed calls, 2 snapchats, 4 emails, and 7 new iMessages ! The 42 minutes in the parking lot consisted on catching up on what i missed during my shift. It is a shame that i coudln’t even put my phone down long enough to get out of the parking lot. During my shift i found myself constantly thinking i lost or misplaced my phone when in reality it was in the car. My phone is always attached to me in my back pocket; so this was unusual behavior.
Taking a minute to breath and relax is odd behavior for me. I am always on the go or trying to find something to do so i never give my brain time to rest. Meditation was something I’ve never done before; so I can actually get a real feel for rather it will help me or not.
I found a quiet spot around the house; which was my closet and took 10 minutes and mediatated. After doing this my mind became clear. I freed all of my thoughts which was my biggest goal in the duration. Throughout my day i was happier and i got more done. It was the first time I actually felt focused in a long time.
In stressful situations i feel more comfortable to use this method to allow me to be able to gain focus and feel 100% like me again.
I have reached the end of my data collection and the technology mindfulness project. This project has not only allowed me to be honest with myself about my cell phone usage; but it allowed me to be aware of how dependent i am of the device. On entry four; i was at the half way point with tracking my hours and below is an updated graph since then.
After analyzing the graph below; i came to realize that this graph is alot more consistent than my previous data break. I began to have more of a schedule and my hours maintained the same over consecutive days. There were very few spikes in the graph. I can honestly say my usage hasn’t got better or worse throughout the duaration of this project.