Challenge Accepted (and then rejected): monitoring my phone use with Quality Time

Photo by Jeanne Menjoulet. CC.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about this great new app she found called Quality Time. It tracks your phone use and then tells you how you're wasting your life.

So obviously, I downloaded it. After all, I want to engage in more quality time, and I KNOW that involves using my phone less. Distractions are bad for the brain, the light is killing sleep, etc etc etc.

I planned to monitor my use for a week and then try to set some goals to reduce my usage, but then every time I opened the app to see what my usage was, my brain failed to jump to attention. 

So far this week I have unlocked my phone 363 times and opened Instagram 116 times, my podcast app 86 times, and Facebook 55 times.

Meh? I guess maybe that's bad? I mean, I obviously open Instagram a lot, but is that automatically a problem? Sure, there is some solid research that it makes people unhappy, but I am cocky and don't think that applies to me.

I looked at my numbers and thought, you know what? I just don't really care, because I don't think my phone interferes that much with my life. I still have human social interactions on the regular, I still do my job, I still read books (although the book-reading does take more intentional effort now with my phone hanging around all the time, so that is a thing). I'm just not that worried about it.

So the question is: does this mean I'm in some state of zen and healthy balance when it comes to phone use, or does it mean that I am so addicted I can't even bear to monitor it?

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