Phone Usage Fast Facts:
In North America, people spend an average of 2 hours and 6 minutes a day on social media.
Based on the prediction for 2020, a person will spend an average of 6 years and 8 months on social media.
3.8 billion people are on social media — half of the world's population.
Every second, 11 people start social media for the first time.
Molly Ellenberger is a junior mass communications journalism major and writes "Indiana Scones" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.
My phone addiction is real, and I’m not the only one who has this problem. Right now, technology seems like the easiest way to pass time without putting yourself at risk.
However, scrolling isn’t the only thing we can do while staying safe. While we are socially distancing, we can make the most of our time instead of wasting it on social media.
There are many times when I check my screen time for the day and realize I have spent hours looking at my phone. Instantly, I feel regret because I missed out on life for hours that day. In those four or five hours, I could have taken a day road trip with my husband, watched two movies, went home to see my family for an hour and drove back or even just read an inspiring book.
There are so many precious moments in life we will miss if we don’t put down our phones. The quiet morning coffee dates with Mom, the long chats with Grandma on Sundays, the late night giggles with your best friend — these are moments people may cherish forever, but when they’re happening, sometimes we fail to realize how special they are.
I am a junior this year, and over the past three years, I have learned to cherish every moment I have back home. I soak in the sight of corn fields and the old buildings uptown. I spend a little too much money at local coffee shops, but I don’t mind because that is something I also take in — the atmosphere of a small town. I live for the moments with my family because I know way too soon, I will be heading back to college without them.
If you think about it, even three hours a day on your phone adds up to 21 hours a week spent staring at a screen. That is almost an entire day every week you miss out on your life. Think about what you could have done with that extra day.
Maybe 21 hours a week doesn’t concern you, but how about 84 hours a month or 1,008 hours a year? That is 42 days a year spent scrolling on your phone. That scares me because in our four years of college, if we spent just three hours a day on our phones, we would miss out on 168 days. That’s 168 days you could’ve spent staying up late, going on food runs at midnight or simply making memories at Ball State. Does that make you rethink your phone usage?
Life is way too short to be staring at our phones. Moments and opportunities are passing us by, and most of the time, we don’t realize it. If I am sitting on my phone while waiting for class to start, I could get to know the person sitting beside me instead. Who knows, that person could end up being my best friend for the rest of my life.
I promise that when we grow old, no one will remember what you liked and shared in 2020. No one will remember how many Instagram followers they had. Not even five minutes later do you care. Scrolling through social media is a mindless act that doesn’t benefit anyone. Of course, it’s fun to see what old friends from high school are doing or what your favorite celebrity is up to. I also enjoy that, so I am not saying stop being on social media. Next time, maybe just think before you do it. Maybe the best time to catch up with the world is at night when you're relaxing on the couch or down time while you’re alone.
My husband and I are currently converting a Ram Promaster van ourselves to travel to 49 U.S. states plus Hawaii but via airplane. In the 42 days we would normally waste on our phones next year, we will instead be seeing the world and making the best memories of our lives.
Contact Molly Ellenberger with comments at email@example.com.