How much time do we spend on our devices? 👩🏽‍💻⏰

I love human data and human behavior. Every single day we make thousands of small choices that can affect so many things in our day-to-day lives. How much sleep we get, how much water we are drinking, whether or not we use a turn signal, checking our phones, which apps we use, why we use them. All of that fascinates me. In my different roles that I’m in and have been a part of, this has been a common theme. I love figuring out why we are the way we are and how the things we do can impact us. I have been itching to write this post for a long time but didn’t know how to measure it. I run little experiments or logs on myself to see what I’m doing, why am I doing it, and what I can do better. I’m analyzing my own data because I want to find better ways to live my life and I think we should all be more aware of ourselves and technology can capture that and SHOW US. The excitement is oozing from my pores, that might be coffee but ANYWAYS.

I am a freelance data and creative consultant, a content creator, an online student, and a program coordinator, and a millennial who is very addicted to my devices. I’ll be honest, it’s pretty bad but I am empowered to do better. I can’t go a day without checking my phone, my feeds, my million task lists, or my email. I spend a lot of time on my phone for work but also for pleasure. I was listening to a podcast titled, Attention Please, over the summer because my addiction to my phone got way out of hand. I’d catch myself being on my phone during dinners or hanging out with my friends because I was obsessed and it was starting to really affect those around me so I wanted to do better for myself and for those relationships. These devices offer us instant gratification and they are designed that way for a reason. App designers intentionally create apps to be more addicting. The more time you spend on these tools, the more money they make and the more information companies get about you. It’s in their best interest to keep you engaged. I think that’s why algorithms are built the way they are. From a business perspective, it makes sense but the consumers are the ones in danger because we have so many young kids and people being addicted to these devices at an early age. I’ve always believed that technology usage is a choice but honestly, tech companies don’t make it easier not to choose it since social media and content platforms are such a staple in our culture.

Being immersed in the technology world, this is so fascinating to me. Even if you’re not a techie, be aware these things are happening for a reason. I was also reading this book called Everybody Lies, which I think everyone should read techie or not. Oh my god, I LOVE THIS BOOK. Please read it, just trust me. This book basically reveals the truth behind assumptions we make on human behavior. The author, Seth Stephens, uses Google search data to prove that. What’s super interesting about is that people will lie on surveys, but when you’re alone and are only keying into a blank field, you’re very honest and that honesty reveals so much about our behaviors. I won’t spoil his findings but honestly, this book and that podcast and also my own experience inspired me to write this. Plus, I’m a total data nerd so this is up my ally.

Apple recently launched a new update that had the feature ScreenTime which monitors how much time you spend on your phone. This is what I used to track all of this data. I think this feature is a long time coming  ☕ but it’s here now! What’s great is that this feature also allows you to set restrictions for yourself or your family. I think that’s great for parents who want to limit their child’s screen time but also good for anyone else who may not have enough willpower 🙋🏽‍♀️

The Experiment 👩🏽‍💻

I enabled the ScreenTime feature on my iPhone (where I spend 75% of my technology usage, if not more). I didn’t set any parameters or anything on myself. This is over a weeks time because the feature on the iPhone doesn’t have a monthly usage tracker (rude).  My week is Sunday – Saturday which is what Apple says what a week is.

I just wanted to know: How much time do I spend on my device? What do I spend the most time doing? Am I using my phone mostly for work? and the last question, how can I do better?

** These numbers or stats have not been manipulated in anyway shape or form. This is merely to know more about myself and how I can stop using my phone more and just to gain more insight into my own experience.

Here’s What I Found: 

I have spent 54 hours and 13 minutes this week on my device.
I have spent 12 of those hours on Youtube, 10 hours and 4 mins on Instagram, and 7 hours 33 minutes on iMessage. Let me put that into perspective. I rounded some of the figures up (iMessage to 8 hours).

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Made this in Canva(not sponsored)

I… don’t even know what to say. By the way, I didn’t look at this until today (the day I wrote this). I spend a lot of time on Youtube. I use Youtube as a way to decompress but I had no idea that’s where most of my time goes to. I watch a ton of different things (clearly). I am kind of embarrassed, to be honest. Let’s just say, this whole experience humbled me for sure. The Instagram makes sense because I do help people with their social media accounts and insights so I check on their pages several times a day. I’m surprised iMessage isn’t at least number 2 but it makes sense. But this insight gives me a lot to think about. Since I’ve been in the Bay Area, I don’t know my way around and I’ve had a lot of meetings in San Fran and also just love exploring so I thought that was interesting. Waze > Google Maps > Apple Maps (don’t @ me).

Let’s keep going… ScreenTime breaks it up into Categories which is nice.

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Again, social networking is not surprising to me AT ALL. You can drill down further into what apps they consider to be social networking. My top 3 are Instagram, Messages, and Twitter. It also shows you when you spent time on your devices the most. Mine was Friday, Monday, Tuesday. Note: I am writing this around 1 pm PST so Saturday’s data isn’t completely accurate.

Another interesting feature is the Notifications. ScreenTime shows you how many notifications you get. As you can see, I get mostly iMessages and Emails. I do get a lot of Canvas notifications. I get around 200 notifications a day. I don’t know if that’s a lot in comparison to others but it’s just interesting to me to get an actual figure. In this notification section, you can change how notifications appear on your phone which is a smart feature. Kudos to whoever designed these dashboards. Very user-friendly and informative. Huge fan. Looks a lot similar to Instagram Insights, although I wish IG was more in-depth but whatever. After seeing this, I do want to push more email messages but I respond to those mostly on my laptop. I wonder if Screentime is available on the Macs. Now, THAT would be very interesting.
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Now I have this insight. What’s next?

  • I definitely need to cut back on watching Youtube. I am going to implement the limit feature it has and I don’t like taking my laptop with me when I am trying to sleep. I usually get my laptop from my bag in the mornings to work but not at bedtime.
  • I could set a time limit on Instagram it just makes it a little dicey since clients do rely on me to check their insights and their accounts.
  • I spend 2+ Days on my phone every week which is not good so I want to reframe from that. Now that I know where most of my time is being spent, I can make adjustments accordingly.
  • I want to find more time to be away from my device and cut it off completely. The emails, Youtube videos, or texts can wait so I should spend more time away from my devices in general.

This information was actually really beneficial to me. This is another way we can all use our data to improve our lives. Behavior data is really interesting and this tiny experiment you can try on yourself. If you do, please please let me know so we can share thoughts.

Thank you all so much for listening. I had the best time writing this post, I’ve been itching to write this for a long time and I am so happy I was able to do it. If you want more data posts like this, I’d love to keep finding ways. THIS WAS SO FUN I LOVE WRITING STUFF LIKE THIS.

What does your ScreenTime look like?

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Intern Help Guide Week 4 🤷🏽‍♀️ Is a “work life balance” achievable?

If you are new to my platform, HI welcome! You are reading the 3rd post of a series I’ve created for anyone navigating a first job or an internship. The tips provided are from my experience as an intern for various companies throughout the past few years. Specifically in the business + technology industry.

They are intended to help you and support you wherever you are in your career. Thank you so much to all of you for showing me support with this.

Okay, let’s get started…

Something I know a lot of new hires or interns don’t talk about is the work-life shift you go through when starting a new role. You may not be used to the long hour days or some of the sleepless nights. If you’re entering the workforce as a college student, it can be a challenge to adjust to a new environment. By week four you will have a better grasp of what type of schedule works best for you but it can seem a little repetitive. Trust me it’s okay if you feel a little bored of it.

You wake up, get ready, go to work, maybe do a workout, come home, make dinner, have a few hours to yourself, and go to sleep. Now older people may look at this and think “yeah welcome to the real world” but I kind of want to challenge that. Not everyone’s life’s goal is to live that kind of life. Try to remember when you were new to this.

Managing a different type of work pressure and your own life can be a huge adjustment for people. I know for me and other interns it has been. No matter what role I have played in my internships, adjusting to the monotony and fatigue was a process.

Work in itself, regardless of what you do, is really gratifying. Your internship is a huge dopamine rush of gratification to your brain. You’re doing things that are making an impact in the company and you have to learn to disconnect from work and your personal life. Your work cannot be your happiness. It can be really easy to blindly fall into this trap of having work be your only source of happiness. Remember you’re a person beyond the work environment. You spent 40 + hours in your week at work which is a lot of time and sometimes even more than you see your own family or friends.

In your internship, you will experience some work pressure that you’re unfamiliar with. That’s perfectly normal. So many people entering the workforce experience this or even being in the workforce. These are things no one really tells you about working in the real world.

As a student, you have a lot of free time that isn’t as available when you’re working. This is a culture shock for a lot of people and that’s okay. I’ve experienced this in various ways. It’s taken me 3 weeks to get comfortable with a sleeping schedule and a routine that works for me.

Here’s what I’ve learned to do to ease some of the pressure.

Let me know what things you do that I haven’t shared!

  • Unplug: Allow yourself to disconnect from the office when you’re not supposed to be working. I don’t check emails after 5 pm. Once I’m home, I’m home. I like to keep my work life and my personal life separate. I will admit, I do think about the work and carry some of that with me but I try to be present in the time that I have for myself.
  • Figuring out what brings you peace + gratification outside of work. Make sure you spend time, even if it’s just an hour, with yourself doing something you love to do. For me, I love spending time creating content on my platform or on social media. It’s a creative outlet for me to be present with my time and really do something I love to do.
  • Talking to your mentors and managers at work to let them know that you’re adjusting to this new routine. You should be able to be honest to them and let them know that you might be struggling but are looking for ways to find a balance. If work is getting too overwhelming, it’s okay to focus on your immediate tasks and say no to things. It’s okay to let your manager know if your work load is overwhelming. Communicating some of your challenges throughout your internship is a way for them to offer insight as to how they do it. It’s a great topic to talk about in your bi-weekly 1:1s!
  • Giving yourself the permission to make plans with your friends and your family so you’re not so consumed with work. Make time for those people. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping contact with my friends or family when I’m super busy because I’m consumed with creating content or busy with work. They can help put things back into perspective and will anchor you.
  • Making plans that you’re looking forward to. Whether it be something you do after work or on the weekend. It’s okay to enjoy your time outside of your internship. You’re supposed to. Connect with other interns near you or in your program to go on fun adventures. That’ll help bring you back to reality.
  • Leaning in on that support system of yours. Whenever I don’t want to think about anything work related, I have my friends tell me all about their lives and their world to distract me. I make it about them to get my mind off some of the chaos. If you do want to talk to them about a work problem, they may not understand right away because they don’t work the way you do. That’s okay! Confiding in your support system is going to help you stay grounded in who you are and it’s going to ease some of that pressure.
  • As cliche as this sounds but doing something active helps relieve a lot of pressure. You can channel the stress from work into something that makes you feel good. Even walking outside for lunch will brighten up your energy levels. I think we put way too much pressure on ourselves as interns to do the best. It’s great to be perfectionists but you need to find a way to get release that energy.
  • Remember that it’s only 10 or 12 weeks and things do get easier. They’ll be bouts of your internship where you will have a lot to do and other weeks you won’t be as busy. Business is a cycle. You’ll find your balance and your routine. Also so many people go through this. Find solace knowing that you’re not alone in figuring this out.
  • Make yourself a priority. Do at least 3 things for yourself everyday that help you unwind and destress. You need to take care of yourself and it’s so easy to forget and focus on other things but be mindful of what you need to be successful.

In your internship you’re going to meet a lot of other interns who are going through the same thing. You guys grow closer because you’re going through the same experience together. Keep those connections close because when you’re overwhelmed or just need to talk about work they are going to be a huge help.

You should be mindful of how you are treating yourself outside of the workspace.

If you’re reading this and you’re not an intern or never had an internship, do not let this scare you. People create their own “balance” in their own way. Some people have a harder time adjusting and some people adjust really easily. It just depends but it’s good to know that this is something that comes along with an internship too because you’re learning in an applicative setting. I don’t want to intimidate anyone from having an internship because it’s hands down one of the best learning experiences I’ve had. I’ve learned more from my internships than I have in my years in school.

I’ve had a few insightful conversations from people who have been in the industry for 20+ years or people who are just entering it (like myself) and they all have similar experiences. You are going to find what works for you. Remember to take care of your mental health and your physical health before you consider work or school or anything.

Hoping this was helpful. I’m working on some amazing stuff for you guys, I can’t wait to share to all of you really listening ✨

Steminist: More than Just A Movement.

By definition, a steminist is an advocate for increasing the presence of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. A word that is to define this existing movement of women who have been on the frontiers of innovative change that inspires the world we live in. These women are our mothers, friends, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, and beyond. This isn’t a role or a fancy name. It’s efforts of progression in a more connected, global world.

I am beyond proud to be on the campaign started by Girl Boss herself, Naomi Thomas. Naomi has been more than a mentor to me. I met her my freshman year of UNCG and since then she has been nothing but a inspiration, role model, and friend to me. I look at Naomi as the future of women leaders who lead with their passion and hard work. She’s not only an inspiring person, she is also a kind-hearted woman who values the empowerment of people in her network and beyond.

This campaign is more than just a set of pictures and t-shirts. It’s been the heartbeat behind every project, line of code, and data that I have been a part of. Being a woman in technology is no easy feat and as I begin my career of using data as a form of storytelling I am motivated by the people I am able to call my friends and also be able to look up to. How cool is that? Having people that inspire you to be who you are but are also down to get brunch every once in awhile.

Steminist is more than a movement. It’s the collection of all people who are encouraging the fearless women in their lives to be better in their respected disciplines. I am so honored to be showcased alongside these other incredible, badass, strong women.

This platform that I have founded and sought refuge in, is more to me than just a collection of my stories. It’s a stage where I can evoke change, inspire others, and bring together people who are multifaceted in their own right. If you’re reading this and you’re listening, understand that whatever it is you are called to do. Do it. Lead with your heart and the best intentions and all of the good that you are seeking will be revealed right inside of you. If you’re lucky like me, you’ll also attract people who will see it too. This is more than a platform. This more than a movement.

I know that some people may look at this and roll their eyes but imagine what it would do if you opened your mind and heart the possibility of inspiring the young girls who want to be the next Elon Musk. Imagine giving the kids the ability to create with technology. I think there would be a lot more good in this world.

If you use my link to purchase, 30% of the profits will be donated to Girls In Tech . One of the many organizations that inspire the next generation of women in technology leaders through education, engagement, and empowerment.

Spotify’s Latest App Integration With Instagram

You know when a new album drops and you tap through Instagram Stories of everybody posting the same screenshot of the same song?

Well.. things just got a whole lot easier.

Instagram’s latest app integration can allow you to go into Spotify and directly share the song you’re listening to right to your Instagram stories. It takes the extra step of screenshotting and encourages you to share artists directly from Spotify.

How to use it

  • Go into Spotify to your favorite song. I have been loving Bazzi’s new album lately.
  • Tap the three circles underneath the music image
  • Tap share and Instagram stories
    and boom! All your followers can see what music you’re feeling

I consider app integrations as company collaborations. They are both implementing a feature that allows you to use both of their platforms to help one another or make an experience easier.

I never thought I’d be excited about something like this but it just makes me curious to see how Instagram will integrate with other applications. On a business profile side, I want to see what insight/analytics integrations they can offer accounts or personal brands to grow their platforms. On a personal account side, maybe there will more filters or fun graphics to put into stories.

 

 

The Do’s And Don’ts of Hashtagging

Check out the latest technology, business, Charlotte posts on charlotteconsultinggroup.com where I am a content creator + data analyst

Hashtag this…hashtag that… we’ve all heard it before. Hashtags are a pretty big part of our social media culture and really help drive your business forward. It was even added to the Oxford dictionary in 2010. 8 years later and they are still being used as a strategic marketing tool to gain followers, improve engagement, and create relationships with other brands similar to yours. Using hashtags is one of the ways to gain new traffic onto your posts but there is an unspoken social media etiquette to follow.

DOs

  • Cater hashtags to the social media platform you are using. What works for Instagram may not work for Twitter.
  • Be specific- if you’re in a new city, or trying new food. Put #Charlotte or #tacotuesday. Speak to the community you are trying to attract… #millennials #womenintechnology, etc.
  • Use your brand as a hashtag, the more people see it the more your name will get recognized
  • Hashtag brands that are in your photos. If a brand is in some way being represented in your photo or post tag them. Brands follow their own hashtags and if you post about them enough who knows, you may get a brand deal.
  • On Instagram, post a caption THEN comment your desired hashtags. There is nothing more annoying than seeing a bunch of hashtags in one caption. Have it be a separate comment to keep everything looking cohesive. It’s a way to hide your marketing efforts too.

Donts

  • #Dont #Hashtag #Like #This. Don’t use each word attached to one particular hashtag. Hashtags are short and sweet. The longer they are the less likely other people will follow it.
  • Using too many hashtags in one post. Follow the rule: simplicity is genius. There should be around 3-5 impactful hashtags
  • Don’t use punctuation, commas, or emojis. If you tap on a hashtag like this #it’sabeautifulday people will be directed to Information Technology (IT) not other pictures of beautiful days. You can always add additional punctuation at the end of the hashtag its self.

 

Improve your company’s social media presence by incorporating some of these tips into your next posts