How comfortable are you with the amount of time you spend on your devices?

Let’s find out.

Rather than rehash a piece you've already ready 500 times, we thought we’d highlight some screen time statistics and posit an opinion or two. Cool? Cool.

Social Drearier

A survey of 2600 people across every US state in 2021, found that the average Gen X person (aged 42 - 57) spent 169 minutes on their phone each day.

Across a year, that’s 43 days SOLID spent glued to the phone… crikey.

Fancy axing a month from every year of your life to watch individuals point at hovering white text boxes that espouse the benefits of their online coaching business? Your call.


A smaller survey of 506 people found that 52% of people said they used social media out of boredom… boredom from where? Is it truly entertaining to be immersed in your feed, or is it more an opportunity to look at colours and shapes from different places to distract you from what needs to be done?

In an effort to form a one-two-punch here, a separate study revealed that there’s no genetic predisposition towards dealing with boredom. Our brains only react differently once the boredom begins. This suggests that it’s merely a case of perspective when it comes to our dealing with boredom, rather than each one of us wielding a greater or lesser propensity to tackle, overcome or bear the brunt of boredom.

We stress this because it underlines the propensity for change. We know that much of what we want lies on the other side of boredom (or fear – rarely is it anything other one of these two).

The acceptance, or optimistically the mastery, or boredom is a challenge few of us consider. Essentially, it’s a case of grabbing ourselves by the lapel and forcing ourselves to push through the mundanity of the situation, in order to come out the other side with a sense of accomplishment.

What do we do when we’re bored? We distract ourselves. A typical strategy is to split our attention, to multitask, to interrupt our flow under the pretence of a “deserved” break. When we spread our attention too thinly, we don’t work as efficiently. Unsurprisingly, there’s evidence to back it up.

You’re Not Omnipresent… Sorry

When we multitask, we summon what Professor Sophie Leroy calls “attention residue.” This refers to our weakened output when focusing on too many things at once; in her own words “when you keep thinking about Task A while working on Task B, it means you have fewer cognitive resources available to perform Task B.”

Don’t fall into the trap of quasi-productivity by spinning too many plates. Focus, complete, continue. That’s the mantra.

This idea of “multitasking” doesn’t just stop in the workplace though. Many people “double screen,” i.e. use their phone at the same time as watching Netflix.

One study found that people who regularly take in more than one form of media at a time are more likely to have smaller grey matter in the ACC (Anterior Cingulate Cortex).

Unsurprisingly this is the area of the brain that deals with attention allocation, as well as reward anticipation, impulse control and decision making… not really a  part of the brain we want smaller than average.

Focus first, Relax later.

So, extending the topic of self-sabotage (knowing or unknowing – the outcome remains the same), the aforementioned study surrounding screentime found that 50% of people associate screen time with not getting work done.

Those TikTok stints aren’t giving you a break from anything other than your potential and capabilities. You know this as well as we do. That doesn’t make them any less ineluctable – but if we’re to think about it logically, we’re only elongating our boredom or frustration by peppering them with unnecessary email replies or a quick 5 minute sojourn through Reddit.

Supposedly it takes around 23 minutes to return to a point of strong focus after an interruption. Do that five times a day and you're truly making a rod for your own back.

Why make the tasks we don’t enjoy doing last longer? Stats show that around 68% of people consider screen time to have a negative effect on their mental health… and that’s self reported.


We’ve got to treat the time we spend staring at screens seriously.

As we love to say, if you don’t like the input, alter the output.

Understanding that change is necessary is the first step to making it happen.

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