If this blog is ever late…it’ll be because I’m managing my screen time


So here’s the perfect excuse for the next time you miss a deadline of any sort. Blame it on screen time management.

This is in the context of a new Baylor University study, which found that too much screen time can ruin relationships.

(That’s in addition to messing with people’s heads, wrecking their ability to focus on something for longer than the time it takes to watch “how many cans can he crush”, a TikTok video, and even destroying any chance to empathise with anyone other than the cat you saw this morning on Instagram.)

The study at Baylor, a private Christian University and nationally ranked US research institution, found that people who are phone snubbed – or “phubbed” – by others, themselves turn to their smartphones and social media to find acceptance.

The research, at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, was conducted by Meredith David, assistant professor of marketing, and James A. Roberts, a professor of marketing.

The “phubbed” partner frequently jumps online to find affirmation in likes and shares and positive comments on social media, says the study, titled ‘Phubbed and Alone: Phone Snubbing, Social Exclusion, and Attachment to Social Media’.

It’s an attempt “to regain a sense of belonging…We’re looking online for what we’re not getting offline. It’s a vicious cycle,” say the researchers. The study is published in the ‘Journal of the Association for Consumer Research’.

The irony, of course, is that the very technology that was meant to bring human beings closer, has isolated us from those with whom we want to be emotionally linked.