Screen Time

Photo: debate.org

Photo: debate.org

My daily computer time is off the charts. I don’t even think about it or try to decrease it. I couldn’t even say how many hours a day I’m online, because it is so integrated into everything I do. Plus I use other devices which aren’t online!

Here’s what a typical weekday is like:

Before Breakfast (1 hour)

  • Select workout music from own collection to listen to on iPod, or choose a playlist on the iPad (free Spotify or Songza, or Apple Music)
  • If using my elliptical machine, read blog posts during workout, or read an e-book (from library Overdrive app)

After Breakfast (1 hour+)

  • Update Fitbit app
  • Check email and weather
  • Check and respond to blog comments if I have posted recently
  • Catch up on Facebook and Goodreads
  • Briefly check work email (in case staff are trying to reach me to say they won’t be in)
  • Check cell phone for texts

At Work – Public Library (2-4 hours out of 7 hour workday)

  • Check and respond to email 4-6 times a day (I purposely don’t check and reply to emails the moment they arrive – too disruptive)
  • Check and respond to voicemail about twice a day
  • Use computer intermittently throughout the day for research, creating docs, sharing info
  • Read promotional content created by my library (its news, blog, Twitter account)
  • Catch up on book news every day or two (bestsellers, forthcoming titles, trends)
  • Use computer to assist customers (answering questions, finding items, placing holds, checking accounts)
  • Assisting staff and public with computer problems, printing, scanning, etc.
  • Help people with their devices (installing and using Overdrive for e-books, Zinio for magazines, Rocket for language instruction)
  • Set up and use laptop and projector, DVD player, PA system
  • Lend out iPads and ChromeBooks by the hour (they have to stay in the library!)
  • The rest of the time I actually talk to people, have meetings, run programs, deal with books, etc.!

During Work Breaks (about 20 minutes/day)

  • Read news websites once or twice a day
  • Read tech and science news once a day
  • Never, ever go onto Facebook or Pinterest at work

Lunch Time

  • Walk home, eat lunch, read a book!
Photo: tweaktown.com

Photo: tweaktown.com

After Work (infinite time unless I pay attention)

  • Online “tasks” such as paying bills or booking a vacation
  • Check email, phone messages and texts
  • Catch up again with WordPress, Bloglovin feed, Facebook
  • Play music (own collection or Apple Music)
  • Sync Fitbit again
  • Make dinner, go for a walk, read books!

I suppose my only saving graces are that I rarely watch TV, movies or YouTube, I rarely play games, and never carry my cell phone around with me – I keep it in my bag and just use it to place the occasional outgoing call. I do have a digital camera (as well as the camera features on the iPad/cell phone) so I do spend some time uploading photos.

On the weekends I visit family, run errands, shop, do house and yard work, read more books…and also compose blog posts and fritter away immense amounts of time. On the plus side, since I got the Fitbit, I spend at least 2 hours a day doing active stuff!

I am glad I don’t have young kids at home to be a bad example for 🙂 I was much better when I was under the scrutiny of a child!

How much time do you spend connected to your devices each day?

As you can see, mine is a minimum of 4.5 hours on a weekday…and easily much more.

23 comments

  1. I could do a similar post…

    When I’m in my office location, I would spend 90-95% at my desk, behind my computer. If I’m in a meeting, I’ll have the phone and/or ipad, which I will check during a meeting. It’s normal to do this (others have been aghast!). When I’m in the carpark (I am a custodian of many vehicles and the stock in the store and yard), I have a phone with me, mainly for the opportunities to take photos, but sometimes to send a quick email to sort something out. Or call a staff member I can’t find and need! Whilst it’s against the law, I also check emails on my phone when I’m stationary at traffic lights, as my risk assessment is that this is low in risk.

    At home, I tend to boot up my laptop in the morning to review blogs, but it’d be no more than 20mins, and I’ll prioritise reading or commenting on those I won’t be able to in breaks at work. ie this comment is via email, and during my lunch break. After work, I’ll almost always get home and put something on to watch. For reasons that baffle my bf, I prefer not to ‘Chromecast’ or ‘Roku’ anything to the TV. I often use my work issued iPad on the home wifi to stream TV content, and like to be able to move it around (balcony to fold washing and watch, kitchen and cook, laundry and fold). I fastidiously finish any ‘screen’ time from 8.30pm when I wind down for bed, and save for setting an alarm, abide by it on weeknights.

    I’m expected by my partner, parents and staff to have my phones around constantly – I don’t always, but I need to be responsive in a good time frame. Holidays rock when I’m with family + BF, cause I need NO phones!! Weekends when the BF and I go out, I’ll often not take my phone, which comes with occasional hiccups, but I find it liberating and he can find it frustrating…

    I’m SUPER mindful of TV time, and how much my BF is glued to devices. I’d like to introduce a day, or an evening, without any screens. I don’t have the strength to enforce it though, cause his number 1 reason is ‘work’… :s

    • I was very grateful to find out my latest job doesn’t require a work cell phone. Our work email is not available over wifi so there is no expectation we’ll check it when we’re working offsite. Rom has tried screen-free days, but he made exceptions for e-books and podcasts! Since I now check Facebook twice daily (a personal resolution of mine, because I was falling out of touch with people I knew), I am spending far too much time there, and need to cut back.

  2. NicolaB

    I spend most of the time that I am not asleep with access to the Internet/ screens on my phone. When I wake up I tend to look at Facebook/Feedly/Instagram.. I’ll check stuff throughout the day, as well as using phone to take photos. I keep all my shopping/to-do lists on there too, so I refer to it quite frequently.
    I’m trying to avoid filling time aimlessly checking apps/websites which I have recently looked when I could be doing something more interesting!
    No idea what my total phone screen time a day is..
    I do also watch a bit of TV- though we are going to cancel the Sky subscription (satellite) as we really don’t use it enough to make it worth the money. Only thing I will miss is recording TV- I think I will end up watching a lot of stuff on demand on the BBC iPlayer.

    • My smartphone is not very smart so I don’t use it throughout the day. I haven’t developed the habit of keeping my personal calendar online or using alerts and alarms. But when I travel, I bring my iPad, keep all my travel info in Evernote, and use Google Maps a lot, as well as the Ulmon city guides. We would love to have the BBC iPlayer – it isn’t available in Canada – UK residents basically pay for it through TV licenses!

  3. EcoCatLady

    Interesting… I’m not quite sure how to quantify my “screen time.” I like to watch the local news on TV in the mornings, but I don’t generally sit there and watch it – it’s on in the background while I’m making breakfast, feeding the cats etc. I walk in and out of the room listening to the broadcast but I’ll sit down and watch the parts I really care about like the weather or any stories that are of particular interest.

    I don’t spend that much time on social media… I read only a few blogs, don’t use any apps or anything, don’t listen to music when I’m on my bike or doing yoga, check email & FaceBook once or twice a day. I carry a phone when I go out, but it’s just for emergencies, I keep it turned off unless I’m using the camera. I read the headlines on Google news, but seldom read an article unless I’m super interested. But when I’m working it means either programming on my computer or doing graphic design/photo editing, so that’s definitely screen time.

    I do love my movies though. CatMan and I do movie night once a week and I’ll sometimes watch a movie or documentary otherwise, and I ALWAYS watch the Denver Broncos… OK… and some of the other games too… especially if it’s a team in our division, and the football analysis shows… a girl’s gotta have a few vices, right?

    So…. a question for you. If you read on a Kindle app of some sort, would you consider that to be “screen time” or “reading time?” Just curious where you draw those lines. Is it the activity or the device that matters to you?

    • Hi Cat, I consider reading e-books on a device to be screen time. I read old-fashioned print books at lunch time and in the evenings. I think you are doing well on screen time especially since your work is computer-based!

  4. I have too much as well, but try to break it into small doses.

  5. Fiona

    I like the fact that you say ‘screen time’ is so integrated into life now that you don’t feel a need to really specify the hours or necessarily change the pattern of us. Schools used to proudly boast of ‘computer labs’ but now “screen time” is so intensely integrated into learning that it’s meant to be distributed, used as a tool and integrated, not isolated or timetabled in a lab.

    I browse my feed-reader and news headlines on an iPad or phone over breakfast, but only briefly. Once I get to work, I’m connected every single minute. Every student in our school has an iPad, so researching and viewing and making with technology is integrated all day long in all our learning activities.

    Kids and teachers share technology constantly by projecting their creations via Apple TV on massive screens mounted on the walls of every room. I am very focussed with my screen time at work. I almost never check personal email, blogs, social media etc. at work. I am really strict with that due to the genuine fear that I’ll accidentally leave a tab open and project it onto the walls for student viewing while I’m teaching!

    So technically, “screen time” lasts all day and into the evening with work at home. But it’s not recreational use. But on weekends, recreational “screen time” could be anything up to 9 hours on a single day if I’m not careful!

    • 9 hours, eek, I can relate. On the weekends it often takes me 8 hours to do a lengthy blog post! I think integrated technology is good when it is used as a tool (such as creating something, or finding needed information), but not good when it replaces personal interaction or replaces other activities (like cleaning, gardening, hiking, etc.) I have some Technology No-Go zones: I don’t use any devices during lunch and dinner, in bed, when out at restaurants or other meet-ups with friends and family, or at other people’s houses.

  6. I spent the front and back end of today, teaching a team of staff how to use their ipads on their cherry picker trucks for their work. Tomorrow, I’ll do another team… It’s ‘all new’ in the work space for these staff!

    • Would be interested to know how they are using the iPads in that situation (what tasks it is used for)!

      • SO they use them to take photos of the head of the poles, to ‘prove’ they aren’t serving their purpose to hold up power lines! They also have it to ‘tick off’ in the field they’ve done the tasks. Other crews, they have a huge list of measurements and questions to answer.

  7. Oh yeah – I am probably the same as you. What a huge amount of time that is but it always feels like productive time (blogging etc) rather than wasted time (unless fb sucks me in).

  8. I’m scared to even look… O_O; I do a lot of Twitter…

  9. Wow I read you post and thought “she sure is online a lot!” then I considered how much I am online and realized it is about the same amount! Like from the minute I wake up (check email, FB, news) to many many times during the day, and then until I fall asleep (I always read my downloaded library books on my tablet in the evenings). eeekkkk

  10. Reducing my screen time is something I struggle with.

  11. Like others: too much. And I fear, unlike you, I also watch too much TV. I see a need for a change because I could accomplish more if I didn’t just mindlessly look at the same old forum I look at and FB even when I know no one has had time to post new items. It is my way of switching off and relaxing without having to invest much concentration but it ends up eating time. Time I could have spent readings book but I tell myself I will only check for a few minutes which turns into 20 or 30 or 45 minutes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: