Chronically Online

An Editor Meeting Mama Kelce In Kansas City Tracks Her Screen Time

Exploring a new city and Black Friday shopping seriously racked up the hours.

In Chronically Online, Elite Daily asks people to get real about their phone habits, tracking their screen time over a week. This week, Elite Daily’s associate experiences writer, Lara Walsh — who had a busy week flying out to Kansas City to interview Donna “Mama Kelce” and introducing her boyfriend to her dad during Thanksgiving — shares the apps she used, the time she spent scrolling, and why her screen time was all over the place.

I’m embarrassed to admit I typically start and end almost every day scrolling, but my phone habits have improved *a lot* over the last few years — especially when I noticed that I was mindlessly on my phone during movies or having chill nights in with friends. I try to be more mindful about when I’m online versus spending time IRL with people, and “habit stack” my TikTok, Instagram, and online shopping activities with other things, like doing my Solawave or laying in my sauna blanket.

I tracked my screen time the week of Thanksgiving, where there was a lot of variation in how much I was on my phone. In addition to flying to Kansas City to meet and interview Donna Kelce on the heels of her Barefoot Wine partnership at the Nov. 20 Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles game, I also hosted my dad and sister for Thanksgiving at my apartment in Chicago — and introduced my boyfriend to my dad for the first time. Even though it was a jam-packed week filled with activities for my out-of-town family, I had heavy “bed rot” days where pretty much all I did was scroll and online shop the Black Friday week deals, too. Surprisingly, my weekly average made me realize how much time I spend scrolling when I’m trying to chill out.

Occupation: Associate Experiences Editor, Elite Daily

Age: 31

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Weekly Average (Nov. 19 - Nov. 25): 3 hours and 53 minutes

Day 1: Situationship 911 Texts & Arriving In Kansas City

I woke up and responded to Instagram DMs and texts for about five minutes. Usually, my Sundays are reserved for rotting a la Alix Earle, but today, I put on my favorite chill playlist on Sonos to help the pre-Thanksgiving cleaning and packing for Kansas City go by a little faster. My friend who has a new situationship sent me an emergency text, so we concocted some messages for her to send him as I did my typical pre-flight lymphatic drainage and depuffing face mask — both of which were needed after a weekend filled with boozy parties and Friendsgiving feasts.

As a big foodie, my favorite part of traveling is researching different places to eat, so I spent most of the 50-minute Uber to the airport and airport wait time coming up with a game plan to hit all the best KC barbecue spots, as well as a place to grab a post-dinner cocktail that night.

Lara Walsh

Once my boyfriend and I arrived in Kansas City and checked into the hotel, we walked to Joe’s Barbecue, a popular chain that originated in a gas station. I posted a pic of the spread on my Instagram story, which included beers, brisket, and a Kansas City specialty, burnt ends, with KC-style fries. We inhaled them while people-watching the diehard Chiefs and Eagles fans.

Back at the hotel, I sipped on a glass of bubbly while I got ready and mindlessly scrolled my favorite food accounts on Instagram for a few minutes. I drooled over @thenaughtyfork’s newest sandwiches and Christmas charcuterie board, and bookmarked some cool new bars and restaurants from Infatuation Chicago and Secret Chicago.

We ordered the Uber to Piropos, one of Travis Kelce’s favorite restaurants (and a Traylor date spot). Seated near the roaring fire in the restaurant’s romantic ambiance, I only picked up my phone to take pics of the food and the decor, which includes quirky ceramics and wood figurines (including two old wooden ladies seated at the entrance).

Lara Walsh

After dinner, we Ubered to meet with a Barefoot Wine publicist for a quick cocktail at the Drum Room and then headed home for the night.

Most Used Apps: Messages, Sonos/Spotify, Yelp, Instagram

Screen Time: 3 hours and 21 minutes

Day 2: Meeting Mama Kelce At Arrowhead Stadium

I didn’t sleep well because ~nerves~, so I skipped my morning scroll to sleep in a little. I spent most of the day working on my laptop, and I was too stressed to answer the mountain of growing Instagram DMs and texts about Kansas City on my phone.

Walking back to the hotel after lunch, it was getting colder and starting to rain — heavily. Sadly, I realized my plan of wearing a Taylor Swift-coded ‘fit for the Kansas City game — a Kansas City sweatshirt paired with a school girl-inspired red plaid skirt and black leather boots — was probably unrealistic.

I swapped out the skirt for dark jeans, and ordered an Uber a little early, thinking it would be nice to have some extra time to hang out at the tailgate. It took over an hour to get an Uber to the stadium, during which my anxiety was at an all-time high. What if I missed the interview with Donna? Multiple cancellations later, my boyfriend finally got one. Still, I kept the Uber app open almost the entire drive to the stadium, checking the arrival time.

Lara Walsh

The packed tailgate had minimal shelter from the rain, so I was happy we didn’t spend much time outside. Donna Kelce was in her element, greeting fans and keeping dry with a bedazzled “Mama Kelce” hat that repped her sons Travis and Jason. In the Barefoot Wine suite at the game, I mingled with some of the publicists, a TikToker who’s a major Swiftie, and Donna, while also frequently opening my phone to re-read my interview questions on Google Docs.

If I hadn’t filmed the interview on my boyfriend’s phone, my camera usage would have been higher, but I still used it while taking photos and videos of the suite and the game. During the hour-long Uber drive back to the hotel, I uploaded the video interview onto a transcribing service. It was past midnight when we got back, so I cleaned the mud off my shoes and passed out without scrolling.

Most Used Apps: Uber, Camera, Voice Recorder

Screen Time: 3 hours and 40 minutes

Day 3: Online Shopping & Pre-Thanksgiving Prep

I woke up early to write my first Donna Kelce story before I flew back to Chicago, so I barely checked my phone until I was on my way to the airport. I called my sister to wish her happy birthday, then answered Slack messages and emails in the Uber.

During the flight, I closed my eyes. It had been a hectic couple of days, so it was nice to have some phone-free time. Once I got home, I posted my now-live Donna Kelce story on my Instagram story and did some last-minute editing on my laptop while eating spicy instant ramen. I was so exhausted, but I spent about an hour after work cleaning my apartment ahead of my dad and sister’s arrival while listening to 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on Sonos.

The rest of my day was so lazy — and I couldn’t be happier. My friend called to get some advice about this guy who’s texting less often post-hookup, and I answered some of the backlog of texts and DMs I had. I called my mom to debrief about the last couple of days in Kansas City and asked her some last-minute questions about Thanksgiving recipes (this is the first year I’ll be making them by myself). I also spent about an hour comparing different workout class subscriptions ahead of Black Friday — I use The Pilates Class, but I’m also curious about Sculpt Society and CorePower Yoga, so I compared and contrasted the different packages.

I ended the night at 9:30 p.m. with my fave guilty pleasure: laying in bed and online shopping for hours on The Real Real.

Most Used Apps: Safari, Phone, Message, Instagram

Screen Time: 4 hours and 20 minutes

Day 4: My Boyfriend Meets My Dad & My Sister’s Birthday Dinner

My dad and sister had early flights in, so I woke up earlier than usual to let them into my apartment. I squeezed in a quick 20-minute workout on my The Pilates Class app, then made myself a frothy cappuccino while I answered some DMs and texts.

After a quick shower, I was in the zone writing my second Mama Kelce story and barely glanced at my phone until it was 2 p.m. and I was starving. I ordered a chicken kabob plate from a Lebanese restaurant nearby, then walked to pick it up while answering Slack messages and emails on my phone. I chatted with my dad and sister about plans for that night — my boyfriend was meeting my dad for the first time, but surprisingly I was more excited than nervous — and I bought tickets to the zoo lights display in Lincoln Park on my phone.

I finished work, then texted a few group chats catching up about the last few days. At 5:30, my family and I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which was lit up for the holidays. I took lots of photos and videos of the festive displays, but other than using the Camera app, I wasn’t really on my phone the rest of the night.

Lara Walsh

My camera definitely ate first at my sister’s birthday dinner at a Japanese Omakase “chef’s choice” restaurant Kai Zan, where you pay a set price and the chef brings out 10 courses of inventive, ‘Gram-worthy dishes. After dinner, I grabbed an Uber to Club Lucky, an old-school Italian restaurant that plays Frank Sinatra and has the best espresso martinis, to meet my boyfriend. My family and boyfriend grabbed one drink (the meeting was short, but it went pretty well), and then I Ubered back home.

Most Used Apps: Message, Camera, Instagram, The Pilates Class

Screen Time: 3 hours and 12 minutes

Day 5: Hosting Thanksgiving For The First Time

My sister and I woke up early to start prepping for our ambitious Thanksgiving feast, which included making turkey, gravy, cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and whipped cream — all from scratch. Most of the day was spent cooking and prepping, interspersed with frantic calls to my mom asking for cooking directions and measurements for the different recipes. Other than sending some quick Thanksgiving texts to my group chats, looking up recipes online, and telling my boyfriend what to get from the store before he arrived at my apartment, I was barely on my phone — which makes sense, since Thanksgiving feels like it should be a screen-free holiday.

Lara Walsh

It took hours to cook and clean everything, but I was proud of the feast once it was done, as well as the aesthetic tablescape I rented for free. I whipped out my phone to take photos of the Thanksgiving spread, as well as the Magnolia Bakery birthday cake my boyfriend brought for my sister (definitely got some brownie points there). It felt like forever since I’d celebrated a birthday with her.

Exhausted and in a major food coma, it was hard motivating myself to take a quick walk with my family around the neighborhood to check out some of the holiday lights. Once we were back, I scrolled through Instagram a little looking at Thanksgiving posts, and then called it a night.

Most Used Apps: Safari, Messages, Instagram

Screen Time: 2 hours and 4 minutes

Day 6: Hours Of Black Friday Shopping

My sister and I woke up at 7 a.m. for Black Friday shopping in the burbs. We love this store called Last Chance, a giant discount store owned by Nordstrom that has incredible deals on designer stuff. As someone who loves a good deal, this couldn’t get any better. My boyfriend drove us to the store, and I played some Odesza on Spotify on the way over. Once we were there, I opened up Safari to compare prices on clothes and shoes I found with retail prices online, and most of them were a major steal. Case in point: some $900 over-the-knee Stuart Weitzman boots were at Last Chance for $160. I could tell my boyfriend was over the shopping, but we headed to the nearby Nordstrom Rack to check out the sales for another few hours.

At 1 p.m., we went back home and I took my shopping online. In addition to doing some Black Friday shopping on Amazon, Saks, and Lululemon, I browsed flight deals. My boyfriend and I are trying to plan a trip for sometime next year, but we’re struggling to pull the trigger on a particular destination. Lastly, I opened up TikTok for the first time this week and watched @YourRichBFF videos. A lot of her videos and financial advice don’t actually apply to me and my situation, but somehow it always makes me feel productive and less guilty for being on TikTok.

Lara Walsh

After showering and getting ready, I cracked a bottle of Malbec and spent a few hours playing a Monopoly board game with my dad and sister, which felt nostalgic. At 7 p.m., I ordered an Uber to Teatro Zinzanni, a dinner show similar to Cirque du Soleil. It was pretty camp yet funny, and exceeded my expectations. The performers and musicians were talented, and I had my camera open for much of the show, taking videos and photos of the different acts. After grabbing a few drinks at a holiday bar, we headed home.

Most Used Apps: Safari, Spotify, Camera

Screen Time: 5 hours and 32 minutes

Day 7: Mini Golf & Self-Care

My sister was leaving in the afternoon, so I tried to pack the day with as many activities as possible. I ordered an Uber to Big Mini Putt Club, an indoor mini golf bar. Surprisingly, I won, and I took photos of the course and my scoresheet to send to my boyfriend and mom. After heading to an arcade to play some Skee-Ball, pool, and hoops, my sister went to the airport and I went to my apartment with my dad. At this point, all the hosting was starting to catch up with me, so I spent the rest of the day being super lazy, doing self-care, and scrolling on my phone.

Lara Walsh

Lounging on the couch, I added some pins to my manifestation Pinterest board for 2024, which made me feel like I was being productive and planning ahead. I’m really into the bucket list travel ones, inspiring quotes about leveling up and abundance, and pins of beautiful homes from around the world. I also saved some holiday decor pins to use for inspo next week.

I answered all the texts and DMs I’d ignored for the last few days, chatted with my friend about her Thanksgiving, and then opened TikTok. I went down a rabbit hole looking at TikToks of creators who swear by hair oiling and scalp massages, and who have the most incredible Sofia Richie-esque hair. I was influenced and ordered some hair oil and a plastic scalp massager from Amazon, then did a full skin care routine. I’d been pretty busy the last few days, so I could tell my skin needed the extra TLC.

To end the night, I put on my Solawave red light mask and got into my Higher Dose sauna blanket for about an hour to detox while I saved some new Thai-inspired recipes from Half Baked Harvest on Pinterest to make next week.

Most Used Apps: TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram

Screen Time: 5 hours and 3 minutes

Final Thoughts: My Screen Time Wasn’t As Bad As I Thought It Would Be

My screen time was all over the place this week as I spent a lot of time traveling, connecting with people, and trying to be present and in the moment. I think it helped me enjoy and appreciate my Kansas City experience when I was taking in the city and the game instead of being buried in my phone. I also did activities I wouldn’t normally do, like mini golf and an acrobatics show. It helped me reconnect with my dad and sister, who live in different cities.

I’m realizing I might have a bit of an online shopping problem and I still want to be more mindful about when I’m scrolling because I’m bored or out of habit, but I’m happy with my progress.