I have to admit that I usually download any iOS system upgrade to my iPhone as soon as it’s released. Just the thought of being able to do new things without a new price tag makes my insides leap for joy. Free.99 is always the groove! So, imagine how excited I was after I downloaded iOS 12 and saw the new Screen Time feature.
Now, for those of you who aren’t so blessed to be apart of the illustrious iPhone gang, let me explain just what it is. The Screen Time feature allows you to see how much time you spend on your phone each day. What I find even more impressive–and in my case, a bit embarrassing– is the ability to see how much of your life you are wasting away in each app on your phone. After the first week of being monitored, the results were in and I had averaged 9 hours per day across social media platforms. Look, don’t judge me. I already admitted that it was embarrassing!
After wasting another 5 minutes staring at my phone in disbelief, I decided that I had to change and quickly. Luckily for me, I could curb my social media addiction by enabling limits for each of the apps. I determined that 2 hours per day for my top 2 social accounts was ample time. However, each time my phone alerted me that there were only 5 minutes left to scroll, I became increasingly anxious. But I quickly learned that I didn’t have to fret much because I was always given the option to ignore the limit. As a self-proclaimed social media junkie, you have to know that I immediately took advantage of that get out of jail free card!
A few weeks of ignoring the limits got me to thinking. Where else in my personal, family and business life was I ignoring the limits? We set boundaries in place to keep order and discipline in our daily routines. If we are constantly shifting the boundary lines, the limits are completely ineffective. I see this play out in relationships where we begin to accept things that were once the ultimate deal breakers. We begin to compromise our ethics because the quest to secure the bag is much more important. In my case, I rationalize that one more cookie won’t really make a difference when I had already pre-determined that my limit was only one.
When choosing to ignore the limit on the Screen Time feature, you are given 2 options; you can get an extra 15 minutes worth of gratification or you can ignore the limit for the rest of the day. Initially, I was just opting for an extra 15 here and there, but after a few days, I completely shifted the needle. And just like that, the boundaries that I established were gone and I was on my way back to wasting almost a third of my day scrolling and liking.
I know we live in a “don’t limit yourself” society and this is great for certain situations. However, we have to know when that philosophy is doing more to hinder our progression than it is to propel us to closer to our destinies. Changing how we view boundaries is crucial to development in every area our lives. Instead of seeing limits as something designed to deny you, choose to view them as placeholders to keep you laser focused and on the right track.