How much time do you spend on your phone?

Just over a week ago I updated my iPhone to the latest ios. If you’ve done the same, you may have noticed the “screen time” in settings. And it’s safe to say that once you’ve found it, it’s hard to go back.

This is my screen time for this week. As you can see, some days have gone better than others, but the aim is to lower the average!

On “screen time” it tells you how long you’ve spent on your phone a day. It is separated into categories (social media, productivity, creativity, etc.) and also individual apps (messenger, instagram, camera, etc.). It adds up the amount of time you’ve used your phone for over the course of the week, giving you an average, whilst simultaneously making you feel worse about the fact that you’ve spent more time on your phone than actually working. As a result, I felt like I needed to do something.

It may have been a coincidence, but around the time “screen time” was introduced, I was in the middle of reading ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ by Matt Haig (book review coming), which is centred around the power of social media and how using our phone affects our everyday life to the point that we simply can’t live without them. I also watched a couple of videos on YouTube about people quitting social media too.

You may think I’m about to claim I’ve quit social media too and haven’t used my phone since, but I haven’t gone quite that far. Instead, I thought about how using my phone affects my life and how it mostly prevents me from focusing on my uni work. I often reach for my phone when I’m meant to be working out of boredom, when really that only prolongs the amount of time I’m studying because it takes me longer to complete it. Solution? Study timetable.

Here you can see the length of time I’ve spent on each app this week.

So on Monday I sat down and put together a timetable of when I have lectures and seminars, when I have societies/clubs, and then filled in the gaps with study sessions (to a reasonable extent). I decided that during these sessions I would leave my phone at least two metres away from me (so I’d be too lazy to get up to check it) and would only allow myself to look at it briefly if I got up for a toilet break (but to reply to no messages unless they’re urgent). 

Surprisingly, it started a lot better than I thought. I wasn’t reaching towards my phone as much already (perhaps because I’d begun it with a very positive and motivated mindset) and I felt really happy that I was getting things done. Of course, I instantly became a lot more tired because of this. I was focusing a lot more and sometimes over-working to an extent, which meant by the end of the afternoon I was already ready for bed. 

By Friday, in all honesty, I had started to slack. However, I don’t even feel bad about it; I got a lot of work done this week and I actually feel on top of it for once. Also, it’s important to have breaks too. 

I think the study timetable helped a lot to cut down on my phone use. There were some days where it was still pretty high, but actually it was more down to productivity apps than social media so I think that’s okay. At this moment in time, I feel like I use social media for what’s important – to keep in contact with my friends and family back at home and to keep up with uni updates for societies/clubs. There are times when I mindlessly scroll but I’m definitely getting better and stopping myself before it gets too much. 

How much time do you spend on your phone? Do you use social media more than you should? 

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the sky waters. [poem]

I’m going to share something a little different today – a palindrome poem! This is a poem that makes sense both forwards and backwards. I haven’t tried this before so thought I’d give it a go! Thanks to selenophile97 for inspiring me with your post!

The sky waters.

A blank slate

Creating

Unseen reflections

My eyes

Water in

Oblivion.

Oblivion.

Water in

My eyes

Unseen reflections

Creating

A blank slate

The sky waters.

sometimes the ground opens up… [poem]

 

sometimes the ground opens up

and I fall.

unexpectedly.

hands clawing at the soil

soul

and feet hanging

in the air

heart hanging

down the stair.

 

it’s a cold night to be

out right now.

music rain

shattering the ear

I’ll hang by the

note.

 

maybe then the ground

can’t take me if I

live on a

sheet of music.

 

I’m flying away

I’m flying away in the breeze.

‘Patch Adams’ [Film Review]

“See what everyone else chooses not to see, out of fear or conformity or laziness. See the world anew, each day.”

‘Patch Adams’ is based on a true story; it’s a film about a man who was once institutionalized with depression, but then finds a passion in aspiring to become a doctor at med school. He learns medicine for a purpose – not to memorise books or conform to societal laws but to help people; to really help them. When he’s meant to be studying, he’s roaming around the hospital cheering up cancer patients or those who wish they could achieve their dreams but feel hindered.

Of course, Patch Adams being played by Robin Williams was a huge influence for me wanting to see the film, but it also made the film a lot more powerful now that he has passed, as well as emotional. I think, in a way, it was like the film foreshadowed his life (despite it being released in 1998), and yet it’s sad he didn’t have someone there for him at his time of struggle like Patch Adams.

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Patch Adams cheering up a cancer patient 

For me, the film was a complete roller coaster of emotions. The way Patch Adams cheered up the patients gave me that overwhelming need to cry out of happiness, but knowing Robin Williams background, it also gave it a darker undertone. I was surprised when I heard that a lot of people watched this film as a child; I understand that the parts where Patch Adams cheers up the children is fun material, but the film itself is really quite deep. But perhaps a child could not understand this anyway.

I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this film, but it actually surpassed my expectations a lot. I really think it’s underrated – the writing is outstanding, as well as the acting and music too. I felt so connected to the message of the film that “if we want to become doctors we have to learn to treat the patient as well as the disease” because it’s absolutely true. When the med students are told the situation of the patient, Patch Adams asks for their name. And this is what is missing – this want to treat patients as friends – because cheering someone up is so important in recovery. Yes, “passion doesn’t make doctors”, but shouldn’t it? Shouldn’t passion to help those who are suffering be just as important as knowing the knowledge to help them? Because people respond a lot better to those that show them compassion, and if you can get a good response, then you know you are making someone’s day just by making them smile.

I would recommend this film to absolutely everyone. I’m not interested in medicine at all but I’ve always had the need to help those who are struggling and if you are similar in any way, I think you’ll really appreciate the efforts Patch Adams goes to make a difference, despite no salary attached.

If you don’t want to see the film (although it is on Netflix), then here are a couple of my favourite scenes below. They don’t contain any spoilers so feel free to give them a watch.

400 Followers?!

I write this every year but I mean it every year that I’m so overwhelmed this many people are interested in reading my thoughts. Since a young age, I’ve always been known as “the quiet one”. I used to be a really confident and outgoing child but somewhere amidst a whole lot of change I became very isolated with my words. I hate when people call me “quiet” because a lot of people use it in an insulting tone. I associate it with criticism at parents evening when I was told I didn’t put my hand up enough in class. And a lot of that is down to social anxiety which most people at the time didn’t understand. So it makes sense that I’ve come to see “quiet” as an insult.

However, creating this blog was a way of proving that I do have a voice and learning to believe in that voice. If it wasn’t for the multitude of book and film and music reviews I wouldn’t have anywhere to share my thoughts that don’t quite seem to fit into everyday conversation. It’s nice knowing that even if my voice isn’t heard in person, it can still be heard through words.

So whilst 400 is just a number, imagining 400 people standing before me listening to something I have to say is quite unbelievable, because I’ve always found it hard to find worth in my voice. But I’m getting there. And a lot of that is down to all of you out there who support me in sharing my ideas by liking, leaving nice comments, or even just secretly reading my work in the corner.

I really cannot thank you all enough ❤

How far does art influence our lives?

“Other visible worlds reach into this world without, however, really forming a part of it.”

This is a quote taken from one of the texts I read this semester for my film theory module. And it stuck with me. I typed it into notes on my phone and it was stored away with all my other ideas for blog posts. And now, suddenly, it’s reemerged.

I wanted to talk about this quote because I feel like it sums up the effect art has on us as people. From literature, to films, to theatre – these things all bring other worlds into the one that already exists. They create new people and new rules and new societies beyond what we have ever really seen. And yet it never actually forms a part of our world.

When we consume art, it naturally becomes part of our mind, since we are thinking about it.  However, this is only temporary. We don’t then spend the rest of our lifetimes living within that fictional world; we return to our own world. For me, the world of art does form a part of my world but not in the physical sense; it forms a part of my mind. I read a book and it influences me and perhaps it’s a tiny corner at the back of mind but I have no idea how strongly that might influence my everyday life. Can we ever really tell how much a book has influenced our life?

It’s strange to think that art can change the way we think. In turn, this changes the way we see the world, which means that we may go about things differently. Perhaps this does change the form of the world, in an indirect manner. When you think deep enough, art does form a part of this world in ways beyond what we could ever imagine. Maybe we just like to pretend that it’s only pretend. Maybe we like to stay ignorant to the fact that art has the power to change everything. 

What do you think?

‘Things I’m Grateful For’ Jar

Earlier on this year, when I was in my first year of university, I decided to start a IMG_1554“grateful jar”. I bought a clear plastic jar off the internet and used simple ribbon and tissue paper to decorate it. Then, I started to rip pieces of blank paper and write something I was grateful for on it, before stacking them up inside the jar.

I started this with one intention – to remind myself why I’m here and why the world can be so wonderful. I wasn’t in the best place when I started it – I was struggling with anxiety and I would often get depressed and see no point in anything. But I wanted a way out of this and I thought that maybe a grateful jar would help.

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As with a lot of things, unfortunately, I never completed the jar to the best of my ability. I missed out on days and only seemed to fill it with a maximum of 10 notes, before forgetting about it altogether. However, over summer I decided that I would start it again this year, but instead with “Things that have made me happy”, to remind myself of all the things I’ve done or that other people have done for me that I can never really appreciate enough. This meant clearing out the old jar so I could start anew.

It was last night that I emptied the jar and it was actually really nice reading over the notes I’d written last year. I’d forgotten what most of them said so it was a nice reminder of the things that I did appreciate at the time. I wanted to share some of them with you today in the hope that you’ll see that there are always great things in bad moments. And once I’ve completed the happy jar, I’ll share the notes from that too!

27/02/18 – literature and all the ways you can analyse it to find meaning and to find yourself.

28/02/18 – listening to old songs like I’m back in the first moment I heard them, all the good memories and the bad memories and how music helped me through them.

03/03/18 – that I can write; that I can formulate my feelings on a page in any way I like and document that moment in time forever, that feeling, that emotion. knowing it’s somewhat validated.

05/03/18 – that feeling of returning home after being away and feeling refreshed and motivated

08/03/18 – laughter over the smallest of things

13/03/18 – for all the lovely food I can make and have access to, which some people in other parts of the world don’t have