Written by Rijul Arora, Thought Leader at LookUp

During these unprecedented times, the line differentiating our online and offline lives has become extremely blurry. As schools and workplaces prepare for more remote work environments, technology has become a more critical part of our lives than ever. Because of this, many people are struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance. We’re struggling to use our technology intentionally rather than passively.

Now, consider this interesting statistic: the average human being picks up his phone 126 times a day. Considering that the average human sleeps for 7 hours, we pick up our phones more than 7 times in an hour (126 times/17 waking hours). This statistic includes only phones, and it assumes we are living under normal circumstances. If we include other screens like laptops and tablets and account for these current unprecedented times when screen time is at an all-time high, this number goes up significantly.

Does “picking up your phone 7 times in an hour” seem like unintentional use of technology?

If you don’t think so, consider how the following would sound if you told it to your family member:

“Hey [family member], I’m picking up my phone to check my social media/email/game 7 times in an hour.”

If there is one key step you can take to transform your technology usage right now, it is to take a deep breath and ask your intention every time you pick up your screen.

Just take a quick one-minute break next time you have the urge to pick up your screen. Take a deep breath and ask yourself,

What is my intention behind picking up the screen that I’m going to use?

Is it really urgent?

Can it wait?

What am I losing out on if I pick up this screen right now?

It is in these small moments of reflection that strengthen our relationships. It is in these small moments of intention that we prioritize listening to our family. These small moments allow us to appreciate the vast beauty around us.

Remember, even if you sometimes fail to be intentional, it’s okay. Don’t be harsh on yourself. These are unprecedented times, and it’s important to be self-compassionate. You always have another moment to be intentional and transform your relationships.

But, in the next moment, don’t forget to ask yourself, What is my intention? Would I prefer to build an unhealthy relationship with my screen by picking it up multiple times in an hour or a healthy relationship with my family, allowing me to appreciate the beauty around me?

The choice is ours. The intention is ours.

What do you “intend” to do?

Originally published on LookUp.


  • LookUp empowers young adults to thrive in a digital world through agency and advocacy. Our mission is to provide opportunities for youth to discover, develop, and advance their youth-led solutions for healthy relationships with technology in order to reverse the negative effects of living in a digital age. Instead of having adults solve a problem they haven’t lived through, let’s get right to the source: by listening to Millennials and Gen Z, we can use personal experience as fuel for real change.