Screen Time Bet

I checked my phone at least two times while recording a (soon to be released) podcast on attention. I should note though, as phone usage is so engrained in my moment-to-moment motor activity, there is a non-zero chance I checked my phone even more times involuntarily – subconsciously unlocking the biometric passcode with the flawless unholstering of my right index finger. 

Now though, I’m writing this in the midst of a screen time bet. 

The rules? 

1 week. $1/minute difference in screen time versus Mike Leone. 

The lone exceptions to our screen time counter? The phone app. It’s a near essential application if I wish to still be employed at the end of the week. I have also yielded a non-count to Audible, the audiobook platform. 

How am I faring after three days? 

To put it bluntly, I’ve witnessed no material effect on my day-to-day. 

Granted, I’ve been in a new state, doing “stuff” and keeping myself occupied for good chunks of time. The good chunks though haven’t impeded my ability to mindlessly unlock. Yet, I’ve holstered my index finger and have reached for the trigger at an alarmingly subdued rate.* 

Through two full days, I’ve generated under three total hours of screen time, with 85% of that time being dedicated to the phone app. Furthermore, most screen time has actually been devoted to real utility, like checking in for flights and Ubering my way around Dallas and Fort Worth. 

As of right now, I don’t miss anything, but I am notably less in-tune with daily Twitter trends. That’s reduced my anxiety regarding the Coronavirus, and saved me some valuable breaths that would have otherwise been wasted watching investment portfolios shrivel. 

Mike has historically been a big proponent on decreased phone usage, citing educated resources I can’t recall, but until this bet I have never been as effective at removing it from my day. 

I’m not in the “put away your phone and socialize” category just yet, but I’ve come to cheerfully understand the allure of being present over the last few days. 

To those who have chided my generation’s reliance on our phones, I tip my cap and say, you may be on to something. I’m doing ok boomers.