I read an article that estimated adults spend as much as one third of their waking hours on their smartphones (Gregoire, 2015). Let’s do some basic math on that figure to wrap our brains around it. If the average person sleeps eight hours per night (I wish! Says the person sitting at Starbucks doing homework at 5am on a holiday weekend! But I digress.). So we take the remaining 16 hours per day, divide it by three and get 5.33 hours, or five hours and twenty minutes per day. I’ve also heard about apps that track your app usage, such as Break Free.
Now, I’m not saying that those 5+ hours a day on our phones are not all a waste of time, we do use our phones to make the occasional phone call, or snap a picture of our adorable kids (see picture of my own little minions). But, if you are like me, you could probably admit that not all of this time is used toward efforts of productivity.
Do you remember the original “check-in” platform…earn badges, become a mayor? When was the last time you heard someone talk about something they heard about on Four Square? I never downloaded the app and think it was the 2012 version of the useless Facebook games like Candy Crush, or the ridiculous Farmville. To me, these applications provided a great way to do a little housekeeping of my friends, if you know what I mean!
My point here is that Four Square was monumental for its time. Facebook is that now. Facebook has done more in recent years to dive into social development (look no further than the ability to align birthdays to charitable causes, and donate to victims of the catastrophe in Texas).
You may be wondering, “Stoll, when are you going to talk about sports?” Well, the topic this week really brought to light for me the opportunities to use the digital revolution for good regardless of industry. I believe sport is a big part of this due to its universal nature and ability to serve as a bond for nations and the world. For example, although ridden with controversy in recent years (an entire other blog series), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lists on its homepage under the “about” tab, nine initiatives to promote Olympism in Society, including: women in sport, education, sport for peace, sport and active society, sport for hope, United Nations cooperation and Olympic Day (IOC, 2017). See Promote Olympism for more info.
|Kids playing cricket during International Day of Sport|
I work on a college campus and once saw a student walk squarely into the door frame of the University Center because she could not peel her eyes off her phone.
Don’t look now, but the seconds, minutes and hours are slipping away from our days. I don’t know about you, but for me, this information was a wake-up call. Are we using our time wisely? Are we helping others or just ourselves?
Charles Dickens once said, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” This has been Stoll on Sports. Thanks for riding along.
|Charles Dickens Literary Legend|
West, D. M. (2015). Digital divide: Improving internet access in the developing world through affordable services and diverse content. Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/West_Internet-Access.pdf