What’s Your Phone Saying About You Behind Your Back? Take the SCREEN TIME CHALLENGE.

Phone dependency hypnosis

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So you think you’re in control of your life, your time and how you spend it?

OK, it’s time to take the Screen Time Challenge

If you’re an iPhone or iPad user and you’ve applied the latest IOS 12.0 update, check out “Screen Time”.  It’s right there, nestled benignly among your Settings.  Released about two weeks ago, it’s already been busy collecting your usage stat’s, unless you’ve asked it not to.

“So what” you mutter, as you gaze lovingly at your screen.

I suspect you might find your own stat’s VERY revealing…and not necessarily in a good way.  Perhaps you might even want to brace yourself for what those stat’s reveal; not only about your phone use but importantly, about you.

About the role in your life that “man’s best friend”; your smartphone, has carved out for itself.  About your ability to focus;  to be present, in control and in the moment.

Apple and its gaggle of loyal techno pundits have been babbling excitedly about what Screen Time can do for you.

I however am going to take a different slant on Screen Timepresenting the Good, the Bad and The Ugly.

Prepare yourself for a few “oh shit” realizations about the potential implications of Screen Time, for you. 

Firstly, what is Screen Time?

Screen Time is a built-in gadget that gathers and stores the details of what you’ve been up to on your Apple iPhone or iPad in a way never done before. It tracks how much time you’ve spent on both “productivity” and “social networking” (in itself a pretty revealing delineation). It graphs and presents your device’s perspective on your day, analyzed hour by hour, app’ by app’, site by site.   Yikes!

Now granted, it’s a sunny spring Tuesday.  It also happens to be the first working day after a long weekend…a footy Grand Final weekend no less.  What better day, I say, for you to start noticing how much of your day was spent phaffing about on your device? Go on, take a look!

So tell me, has it been pretty telling to reflect on what you’ve been looking at, when you did it and how long you did it for?  It WAS a working day, right?

The Good…

Sometimes, we need a firm wake-up call. Is your device hypnotizing you? If so, tell it to knock it off!   That’s my job :).    Seriously though, perhaps the release of  Screen Time and the insights it provides might just be your personal wake-up call, putting your device and social media use into perspective.

Perhaps this has been just what you needed?  The jolt that’s helped you recognise it’s time to take back control of what you allow to consume and absorb your thoughts, energy, priorities and time across your day.

Share this article and talk about it with your colleagues, your family, your friends, your partner, your kids.

Better still, take the Screen Time Challenge.

Use your device normally, just as you would otherwise do, for a whole week.  Then, make time to go through the Screen Time stat’s and really absorb what those stat’s say. 

What they say about how much of your time it really takes. About the times when you shouldn’t have been, but were.  Maybe even about how much of your life you’re relinquishing to what just might be pointless (in)activity. 

Chances are, you’ll have recognised things might just be a bit out of hand and make the choice to do it differently from now on.

How’s that GOOD, you ask?  Well at least now you know. That’s an important  first step, right?

The Bad…

Device and social media “overuse” is a proven major contributor to anxiety, depression,  to issues such as insomnia, relationship problems, procrastination and lack of focusMany people worry constantly about their life compared to others, whether they’re missing out or somehow falling behind.

An alarming number of Australian’s of all ages now fall into the category of “problem users”.  They have a debilitating dependency on their electronica that’s crippling their ability to operate and interact with their families and partners.  To focus on their jobs.  Their lives.

Do you find it impossible to leave your device off in a restaurant, in a meeting, at the dinner table, in church or in bed?  To eat a meal, visit a place or see a friend without posting a selfie?  Do you check your device in the first three minutes after awakening? I rest my case!

Worse still, Apple wants you to believe that you can’t be trusted to control those choices yourselves.  Screen Time actually allows you to set your own password controlled limits on how long you spend on your device in a given period, within specific app’s, websites and activities.  In psychological terms, this reinforces your addiction, telling you that you should trust the device to manage your choices for you, because you can’t.  That you couldn’t otherwise summon the self discipline to manage it on your own.  For the love of God!  Seriously?

Is all of this is causing you to cringe, just a little?  Perhaps to recognise that it’s a problem for you?  If so Targeted Hypnotherapy and especially my services relating to unhealthy dependencies can really help.

Not yet convinced it’s a problem serious enough to really do something about? Just wait. This next part’s a doozie.

The Ugly… 

Are there people within your family, your professional circles, or your life that might be extremely interested in your Screen Time usage stat’s?  So interested in fact that they might ask to see them?  Awkward!

Here are just a few examples:

Employers…If you’re already under your boss’ gaze at work and needing to lift your game, could you imagine the scenario where your employer demands to see your phone stat’s? Yes, you can always tell them to mind their own business, but then, what are you hiding, right?  Damned if you do show it and damned if you don’t.

Anxious partners…are there a few regular use app’s on your device that might be tough to explain or raise a few eyebrows…Tinder, Grinder, online porn or gambling sites…?

Your kids…because heaven know’s they’re more tech savvy than you.  How long before the game of “let’s see what Mum and Dad have been up to” becomes a popular one?

The Police…We live in an era where you face a 5 demerit point penalty and a honking big fine for “touching your phone while driving”.  Imagine the conversation you’re going to have next time you’re pulled over at an RBT or by a highway patrol and they ask to see your device stats.  Unlike the “mind your own business” defence that may save your skin elsewhere, is it a stretch of the imagination to believe the police might be entitled to demand to see your Screen Time data?  Here’s a fun fact for the conspiracy theorists among you.  The release date for IOS 12.0 and Screen Time…AND the date when NSW Police announced significantly changed laws and penalties regarding phone use while driving… were both…September 17, 2018.    Spooky eh?

So What Now?

It might just be time for you to rethink your dependency on your device.  To recognise that its relentless use has become a habit that’s intruding on your life to an extent that’s turning you into something less than the person you aspire to be.

That it’s become a habit that’s not only hard to kick, but could end up seeing you in hospital, gaol, on the Centrelink unemployment line or in divorce courts.

OK, I am making these points tongue in cheek, but you get the picture.


Do something about it.  Perhaps you feel you need to get this or any other aspect of your life back in balance? Perhaps you’re allowing unreasonable or anxious thoughts to control your thoughts and feelings?  Perhaps you suffers from a fear or a phobia?  Or perhaps indeed you have a dependency on something that is negatively impacting your life? Isn’t it time to hear the wake-up call and take back control?

If you recognise the Screen Time Challenge has been really revealing or indeed terrifying, but you can’t seem to go through with it and change things unassisted, my hypnotherapy can truly help.

And yeah I know…here I am banging on about how much time you spend on your device and social media, yet I’ve just had you read a thousand word essay…probably on your phone.

Mea culpa; but how the heck else was I going to get your damned attention?

Cheers, Paul


Paul Mullens

Check out my website, and especially my Services Pages on Dependencies.

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