WATCH — Having a social dilemma? Check this out if you’re glued to your phone

Isabelle MacNeil
Story by Isabelle MacNeil and CBC Kids News • 2021-03-04 18:28

Isabelle challenges a friend to reduce their pickups

How many times do you think you pick up your phone in a day?

How about 10 times? Or 50 times? Or 100 times?

Is there a magic number we should try to stay below? Or is there a number that is too high?

Most modern smartphones have some kind of use-tracking feature built into them.

It can offer information like how long you’re on your phone and how many times you pick it up per day.

Up for the challenge

CBC Kids News contributor Isabelle MacNeil wanted to dig into the numbers and see if they tell us anything about our phone use and whether or not too many pickups can be harmful.

A young man and woman on a zoom call

Ayres Perry, right, accepted Isabelle’s challenge and tried to reduce his pickups. (Image credit: Jamie McMahon/CBC)

At the same time, she challenged her friend, Ayres Perry, 15, from Halifax, to try to reduce his pickups over the course of four weeks.

At the end of each week, she would check in and see how he did.

To see how Ayres did, watch the video below or keep reading for a tip on how to reduce your cellphone use:

Matthew Johnson, director of education for Media Smarts, a not-for-profit organization for digital and media literacy, has this tip for anyone who wants to reduce their pickups.

“The easiest one is just to, every time you take out your phone, say out loud why you’re doing it,” Johnson said.

“So before you turn on your phone, say: ‘I’m going to check my email because I’m expecting an email from so-and-so,’” he said.

“That [is] important because if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll say: ‘I’m going to go on Instagram because I’m bored,’ ” for example.


TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Isabelle MacNeil with design by Kat Go/CBC

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About the Contributor

Isabelle MacNeil
Isabelle MacNeil
CBC Kids News Contributor
Isabelle MacNeil is a creative and ambitious Grade 10 student from Dartmouth N.S. with a love for soccer, volleyball, acting and business. Isabelle has been having so much fun working as a contributor for CBC Kids News since September 2018. Isabelle loves reporting stories and hopes to inspire others as a positive role model and believes that giving kids a voice is more important than ever.

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