Do you really have to dedicate your entire life to being present online if you want to ‘make it’ as a blogger? Do you ever feel worried about the prospect of taking time away from social media at the risk of your followers forgetting that you exist? Do you feel the pressure to constantly be online to make sure you can keep up to date with all of the latest happenings in the blogosphere? With all those questions constantly running through my mind I’m taking a look at whether it really is possible to achieve that elusive work/life balance when you run a blog and how much time you REALLY need to be spending online.
So fairly recently I started using the app Moment after I heard a few people raving about how useful it is. If you’re not in the know then it’s essentially an app which monitors the amount of time you spend on your phone per day. To the average person, probably not so alarming but to a social media addict like myself the results are enough to send you into a mild meltdown. So in light of full disclosure I thought would share some of my (slightly horrifying) results with you in this post as I know there hopefully won’t be too much judgement around these parts.As you can see from the screenshots above, on the average working day I’m spending around 5 WHOLE HOURS attached to my phone. I’m convinced that the app is flawed because I mean how is that even possible, that’s more than one fifth of a day! When I really sit and try to comprehend those figure I just can’t get my head around how much time I’m really wasting every single day. Just think of how much I could get done in this time if I were to take my phone out of the equation. And as if that wasn’t enough you can also see that I’m picking my phone up a whopping 94 times a day! This is despite me turning off my notifications so I can’t even throw blame at them as being a distraction anymore.
All of this begs the question, is it really necessary to be online and active on my phone this much?
Of course not! I’m sure there’s so many of you out there who are much better than me at controlling their time online especially throughout a working day. I tend to account most of it to having a job managing social media and the fact that I need to be present to keep up to date with all of the latest happenings but in reality this doesn’t mean scrolling through my Instagram feed 20 times a day. That my friends is simply called time wasting.
What I was pretty happy to see when examining my phone usage via Moment was the huge difference between the time spent on my phone in the week and that of the weekends. Granted, this was a weekend when I chose to take part in a digital detox where I actually deleted social networking apps from my phone but nonetheless it shows that I am capable of ditching the obsessive habit and focusing my energy elsewhere.
There’s several bloggers I follow who seem to have reached a point where they have a really healthy balance between time spent online and time away from social media. They know when it’s time to switch off, to disengage from the world of likes and comments and instead fully immerse themselves in activities that take place away from screens. This is the stage I’d love to get to, where I feel comfortable completely switching off and getting on with doing things IRL without feeling the need to document it all over social media.
Moving forward, what I really want to attempt to get to the bottom of is what exactly do I think I’m missing out on online that I’m so desperate to keep up to date with? So what if I don’t catch someone’s latest Instagram Story before the 24 hour window passes, does it really matter if I don’t read know how X, Y and Z are spending their Tuesday afternoons? Just because it is available to me 24/7 doesn’t mean I need to be constantly accessing it.
I’ve spoken recently about productivity tips when you work from home and if I don’t manage to get a handle on this time-wasting activity then I can really see it starting to affect my work and in turn my business. So from now on I’m aiming to cut down my time online by ditching the scrolling, setting aside some dedicated time to check in on my favourite social media apps and keeping my phone out of reach throughout the working day. I’m going to start focusing on what’s going on in my own life and try to stop being quite so concerned about what everybody else is getting up to.