Another post inspired by the late, great Jim Rohn. If you are not aware who he is, I would suggest you look him up. He was a speaker and coach who taught and inspired Tony Robbins, who, in turn, inspired yours truly. This is something I got out of listening to one of Mr. Rohn’s talks on how to master your life. In his example, it was television he spoke about. At the time of the talk, which was given in 1981 if memory serves, the average person was spending 6 hours of their day watching television. To me, this seemed a bit alarming. I cannot imagine sitting in front of the television for that long. After roughly 2 hours of watching a movie with Margie, I am ready to go to bed. That also has a great deal to do with Margie, but that is another post entirely.
Mr. Rohn would then ask people in the audience how expensive their television was. They would give various prices that made sense in the early 80’s. After listening patiently, he told them they were wrong. The television was far more expensive. The cost was the 6 hours of productivity they were losing by watching it. How much is 6 hours a day worth? What if you spent 6 hours a day working on pursuing your passion? Starting your own business? This got me thinking about how we have changed in the last 40 years? Surely we have learned from all of this lost productivity and the cost attached to it. Well…
Remember that 6 hours a day of television in 1981? Let us look at today’s equivalent of the television – the cell phone. According to a study done in 2022, globally, people average 6 hours and 58 minutes of screen time a day. Almost a full hour more than the television in 1981! That figure has increased an average of 50 minutes a day since 2013. At this rate, in another 5 years we will spend half of our day staring at the palm of our head. So much for the theory of evolution. In fact, in the so-called evolved countries, the problem is even worse. In 2022, the average person in the United States spent 7 hours and 4 minutes on their phone! I am as guilty of this as anyone. I often do research, and even write some of these blogs you are reading on my phone. (Fear not, this one was written on my laptop.) If you want some more amusing, but alarming, statistics on cell phone use, read the picture above.
My point here is not to demonize the cell phone. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, they do serve many useful purposes. You can use them for a GPS device to find your way around. You can find out what movie that was that had Will Smith and Kevin James in it and who the leading lady was. (So you don’t have to use your phone it was Hitch and Eva Mendes respectively) The point here is to think about what those 7 hours of your day staring at your hand are truly costing you. Those people who buy a new phone every year (Can’t imagine this myself) think they are spending on average $370 dollars a year ($555 in the U.S.) are underestimating that price significantly. We work 8 hours a day and demand a fair wage for doing so. Yet, we give away 7 hours of our day to a device that not only does not pay us, but cost us countless dollars in cell phone bills, the building of our dreams and memories we could be creating with our loved ones. I don’t know about you, but that is far too much to pay for a cell phone. It is time we make the cell phone cheaper. Not with our wallet, but with our habits.