Precious minutes of your screen time that are not coming back

Time wasters on instagram

Who all have set an Instagram time limit for themselves? For those wondering- you can set a reminder in the app itself which tells you that your usage time is up. Kinda pointless, coz you go back to scrolling anyway, but it’s another thing we wish to have control of in our life, because mayyybee, just maybe one day in the future we will create boundaries for our screen time.

But how much time do we ‘waste willingly’? I was scrolling IGTV when my fingers paused on a video of a certain box labelled Chanel. It started off on a familiar note, a girl talking about her latest luxury purchase, standing against a backdrop of shelves stocked with luxe handbags. She seemed to speak with the air of authority that a long-time luxury consumer would have. She started opening her Chanel handbag box, peeling back one layer of butterpaper after the other, detaching sticker after sticker with the care of an eye surgeon. The stickers were kept aside as if she would preserve them for her grandkids. And we were only halfway through to the actual bag.

  • The Unboxing videos

A thought struck me, had I become so pathetic as to have watched the “unboxing” of a handbag? If put like that, it does sound pathetic, but what was it that mesmerised me about it? Did I just waste 5 minutes of my life that are never coming back? A rather depressing way to look at it I know- but helpful against certain “time-gobblers” on social media.

Do you really want to know what packaging your new phone will come in? Or worse, how the charging cord will be coiled? An instruction manual to your instruction manual? Ok I do get there is such a thing as packaging porn (don’t ask) but isn’t that celebrating the art of beautiful, well-designed, functional (and hopefully sustainable) packaging? And not the ‘look here I am low-key showing off my new purchase through its unboxing’ kind of hilarity out there. Whatever happened to yanking off wrappers and cardboard from presents to get to the real thang?

  • The Bottlecap/ Kiki Challenge

Or any other challenge in the Internet universe. Watching Kendall Jenner’s perfectly toned pins accurately kick a bottlecap from a moving speedboat didn’t enhance my life in any real way. In fact, quite the contrary, her thigh didn’t even jiggle. *sigh*

  • Liking a picture of an egg

I mean, need I say more? The whole egg storm on Instagram to beat the number of likes Kylie had on her post, is an indication of where we’re heading. Back to the Neanderthals, best case scenario?

  • The Wink Girl/ Wink Gifs/ Wink Memes

This one gets my goat the most, because atleast 12 people including my mom forwarded Priya Varrier’s infamous wink to me like she had won the Padmashri. “Doing the nation proud, one wink at a time” a caption read. I didn’t go through years of accounting class to figure out that one of my (non) talents could give me the Instagram followers I’d always dreamed of.

  • ‘What’s in the box’ challenge

Only because I can’t wait with bated breath for her to touch the spindle of a porcupine or the peel of a mushy banana, and then let out a squeal and giggle. Yes, I know it’s kinda dopamine-y and addictive but that’s the whole point! Stay away.

  • #OddlySatisfying Videos

So this one comes with a rider since I know that ASMR etc. is therapeutic for many, but do these videos have to use a hot knife to melt all those products in one stroke? Or create a mess with all that slime? The colossal waste makes me want to throw up, then I enter an internal debate with myself on whether I’m being too prissy or not. And then I realise I have an article deadline, and the vicious circle continues.