I often found myself jumping into bed after a long day working. I’ll scroll my social media feed for a while, at least that’s always my initial plan, which always turns out to be an hour or two.

In another situation like queuing, waiting for someone or commuting, I’ll check my phone, open what I called as ‘Social folder’ where I put all of my social media accounts. I’ll go to Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Medium, basically everything. I’ll open all the stories and every update.

Unsurprisingly, I’m not the only one. Admit it, peeps 😉 In fact, the average worker is interrupted every three minutes by social media, texts, emails and calls.

I’ve been using this one app called Moment where it counts how long you’ve been using your phone for a day and how many times you pick it up. The number is unbelievable. I can spend up to 5 hours on my phone per day. That’s a lot. I could have spent those 5 hours doing some more productive!

We care too much about our digital branding

There are many researchers out there speak about how we, millennials, are too in touch with our digital presence and its side effects. We spend so much energy engaging online and taking care of our digital personal branding.

One study shows that social media has become a basic need of connecting to others. It indeed helps us to keep in touch with friends no matter where they are. For millennials, social media is not merely to chat or update on people. It is a social status.

We have this tendency to retouch anything before posting it. We create a standard of how you want to be perceived by others. Thus, likes and comments have become the status parameter. In fact, about 42% of millennials feel jealous when their friends get more attention than them.

Celeste Headlee on her book ‘We need to talk’ says that social media, phone and texting has led to a decrease in a few keys of effective communications, causing people to get stuck in the multitasking mode between their screens and people in front of them.

We live on our phones

It’s amazing how technology has evolved these days. We can order a taxi, buy groceries, plan a travel, pay our bills, and much more on our phones. We also use our phones to pay stuff, airport check-in, concert ticket entrance, and many more.

It stores massive information of our personal details. Like, bank cards, expenses, to-do-list, schedules, important contacts. It is something most people nowadays can’t live without.

As there are many things that can be done on our phones, it’s easier for us to get distracted and stayed on our phones for hours.

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Look how everyone’s on their phones!

Once we heard a beeping sound from our phone, we automatically check it. No matter how unimportant it is, like ‘Anne also commented on a photo that you’re tagged in’. And, again we still open it.

Or a situation where we want to do something important like recording our expenses then a Facebook notification pops up. We open it, read the comments, like, then I’ll start to explore something I wasn’t planning to do. Then, an email notification comes up or a text comes in and it goes round and round for hours.

Do you notice that over the time your ads become more and more personal? In the last few months, I’ve clicked a few good ads and actually bought some of them. On one side, it’s very convenient and less annoying cause business start to understand me as a customer. But, it also means that I’ve shared tons of data with them. The more suitable the products they offer you, the more bits of life you’ve put into it.

Try to keep it to a minimum

My phones have helped me throughout many kinds of situations, like working, boring situation, awkward moments or emergency. It also helps me to read news update or great articles online; keeps me update on the market situation.

However, I realized that I’ve given up times, energy and money on something that I could probably keep it to a minimum. I know that I won’t be able to live without my phone but it doesn’t mean that I should throw 20% of my daily time on it.

Through this post, I’d just like to spread out the words on how this stuff has become (not just a need but also) an addiction that is we should probably reconsider of doing.

Yet again, realizing these habits is one thing. Creating a better habit and working more productive is another thing. I believe there should be something more fun and greatest stuff to do out there. See and enjoy the world beyond the screens!


Alifa is a marketer who ended up in tech. A newbie expat in Singapore. She tries to turn her complaints, struggles and memorable moments being a 20-something millennials into a life 'win & learn'; hoping that maybe others would benefit from it. When she’s not writing, she enjoys beaches, workout and pizza.

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