Switch Off and Plant a Tree

26 January 2022

I was sad though unsurprised to read that findings of a recent new report show that people spend a third of their waking hours staring and scrolling at apps on their phones - that’s roughly 4.5 hours a day and 7 of every 10 minutes. The global report found that the UK was 12th on the list for usage (Brazil and Indonesia being the top two), and that in general usage has gone up by 30% since 2019.

Some part of that 30% will likely represent a rise in ecommerce during Covid, but there are lots of other convenient aspects and positivity around apps such as the ability to read books, meditate, listen to music, connect with friends and family, and to use your phone as your virtual wallet.

However the more we are interacting with our phones the more we are losing the human connection; we're more connected than ever but we're more disconnected than ever.

We know what we have to do to control our phone addictions, we’ve heard it all before but it’s still worth a reminder: reorganise apps into folders to discourage use, set boundaries by using the Do Not Disturb function, put on silent or leave it in another room. Call a friend and speak to each other. Read an actual book.

My favourite way is, ironically, to download an app – it’s called Forest. By spending time away from their phones, users grow virtual trees and earn coins, which can then be saved up and used to help plant real trees in five countries in Africa. What an inspiring and grounding motivation for us to put down our phones for a while, and connect.