This is not an exaggeration. Statistics show that we spend over 600 hours a year on social media. It only takes about 400 hours to read 200 books. I find it difficult to comprehend just how much knowledge we're missing out on and time we're wasting daily by mindlessly scrolling, by trying to impress others, or whatever else we do on social media.
Using these apps has become instinctive and an integral part of our daily lives. And while this has its benefits in connecting us and keeping us up to date on what's going on in the world socially, I think we can all admit that we spend more time than necessary on these apps. Just last night, I went on Instagram to check my account's statistics and found myself almost an hour later watching videos of Beyoncé performing. When I realized this, I immediately put my phone down and went on to do what I had been looking forward to the whole day: reading on my Kindle.
I cannot tell you how excited I get at the thought of getting into bed at the end of the day, turning off the lights, and picking up my Kindle to immerse myself in a great story (which is currently Michelle Obama's memoir: Becoming). The world gets quiet and I get transported to this written movie that I get to create the visuals of in my head. There's nothing better than that.
Back to the Kindle, the reason why I think it is the best, and in my opinion, the only substitution for the "thrill" that we get from social media is because it triggers the same instinctive physical and psychological behavior that going on our social media apps does: we pick up the device and click on an icon that provides us with content. Essentially, we still get"screen time". The difference is now in the information we acquire from it:
Life lessons vs. Beyoncé videos
An extensive vocabulary vs. Memes
Enhanced imagination vs. Insecurities
Improved brain function vs. Plastic surgery results
Better sleep and reduced stress vs. New filters
Real knowledge vs. Self-doubt
The choice is yours.
Your life is yours to live. Your time is yours to distribute.
The reasons why I mention the Kindle and not reading on your phone, computer, or a physical book are the following:
- Reading on any device that has other apps can easily distract you from the book you're reading through notifications and the accessibility of other functions.
- Reading a physical paper book is excellent and just as, if not more effective than a Kindle, in theory. However, you're less likely to pick it up and read. If you had the choice between picking up a device and a book, chances are you're going to pick up the device. Due to the way our brains have been rewired, the use of devices gives us psychological pleasure that is similar to the use of addictive substances. Therefore, to increase your chances of reading a book over scrolling through social media, having a Kindle is better.
- When traveling, it is easier to "pack" all the books you want to read in a Kindle than to pack your physical books.
- With a Kindle, you can download books instantly, bookmark pages, highlight phrases, and look up new words as you read. All with a finger.
The Kindle I have is an older generation of the Kindle Paperwhite. The newer ones are waterproof, another useful feature that allows you to read literally anywhere, at the beach and while taking a bath.
My hope is that you realize how precious and limited your time is, how important your mental health is, and how substituting your social media apps for a Kindle could cure this detrimental addiction that steals us of our life and self-confidence.
I hope to find you somewhere with a Kindle light shining on your face, revealing your inner beauty and the magic of reading a book.