Technology is taking over the world, but these days social media is taking over our individual lives. Do you ever stop and wonder how much time you spend each day on social media? Have you ever calculated the total amount?
A study by Mediakix determined 50 minutes per day are spent on average by people using Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger. In addition, 40 minutes are spent on YouTube, 25 on Snapchat, and one on Twitter. The total amount? Five years and four months of your life are comprised of scrolling through your social media feeds.
So what could be accomplished if you set down your phone and looked beyond your screen?
Writer Charles Chu decided he wanted to find out how many books could be read during that time and published a post to Quartz with his results. Chu personally reads an average of 200 books a year by merely budgeting his time spent on social media and drastically reducing that sum amount of time.
Chu began by saying the average American reads 200–400 words per minute, and assumed that if you’re reading this you read 400 wpm. If an average non-fiction book has 50,000 words, Chu then multiplied that by 200 (how many books he wants you to read) to get 10 million words. He then divided that by 400 words per minute and again by 60 minutes to discover that it would only take 417 hours to read 200 books.
Assuming we, on average, spend 608 hours on social media a year and 1642 hours watching TV, Chu calculated that we could read more than 1,000 books in a single year.
“Here’s the simple truth behind reading a lot of books: It’s not that hard. We have all the time we need,” Chu wrote. “All it takes to start reading a lot more is to take ‘empty time’ spent Twitter-stalking celebrities or watching Desperate Housewives and convert some of it to reading time.