A Beyoncé-Obsessed College Senior Tracks Her Screen Time
A week of OOTDs, TikTok vlogs, and Renaissance videos.
In Chronically Online, Elite Daily asks people to get real about their phone habits, tracking their screen time over the course of a week. This week, BDG editorial intern Jordan Murray takes us through a typical week in her life working as an intern and shares the apps she spent the most time on and how often she mindlessly scrolled.
As a soon-to-be college grad in 2024, I’ve spent much of this summer panicking over the fact that it’s my last one until I officially enter the workforce and start to feel like a real adult. Because I’m constantly thinking about the scariness of true adulthood — even though I’m 21 years old and have been a legal adult for three years — my roommates and I have been trying to make the most of the summer by trying new restaurants, going out to fun bars and clubs, attending concerts, and essentially doing we all we can to live our best lives. While my weekends are spent having fun, my Mondays through Thursdays are reserved for interning. I’m the lifestyle editorial intern at BDG, where I spend my days churning out articles.
Even though I’ve kept busy with my weekend plans and internship, I, of course, still find any free time I have to scroll through TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest and make sure to set aside time to create content as I pursue being a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle digital creator as my side gig. I’ve never taken an interest in tracking my screen time before. In fact, I’ve always justified how much time I spend online since, as a journalist, I spend so much time searching for trends and what’s poppin’ amongst media platforms. But let’s be real: much of my screen time is scrolling on my phone in the hours before bed. After this week of monitoring my time on my phone, it is safe to say that I shocked myself and maybe need to take a step back from this little device that I’ve clearly become obsessed with.
Occupation: Lifestyle Editorial Intern, BDG
Location: New York, New York
Weekly Average (July 25-June 31): 8 hours, 56 minutes
Day 1: Reunited With My iPhone
A few days prior, the worst thing that could happen to anybody who’s constantly on social media happened: My phone stopped working. After my alarm didn’t go off, I woke up an hour late in a panic and rushed to get ready for the airport. I was headed to a family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. My iPhone wouldn’t turn on no matter what I did, so after my attempt to order an Uber to the airport through my laptop failed, I grabbed my bags and walked to the corner to hail a cab.
After being on the island for two days, on Tuesday, I finally was able to get my hands on a new phone and feel reconnected to my online world. My first mission was posting my second Barbie movie ’fit pic. I had posted the first OOTD, a pink Skims dress with a matching pink button and pink Converses, from my computer on Sunday. It probably seems ridiculous that I couldn’t wait a couple of days for a new phone to post a photo, but hey, the content creation grind does not stop. I spent 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. working remotely, writing up an interview with Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler on their new American Eagle collab. After work, I grabbed a pasta dinner with my younger brother and family friends and spent the evening doing a bit of exploring on the island. This meant quite a bit of time sitting in the car, so I took the time to get reacquainted with my iPhone and catch up on everything I missed.
When I got home, I showered, made s’mores over the stove, and got into bed to do even more scrolling. My first stop was TikTok, where I watched tons of beauty, fashion, and lifestyle videos from my fave creators, like Monet McMichael, Eni Popoola, Abelyn Salazar, and Diana-May Kirori. Then I switched over to Instagram to scroll through friends’ stories and ended the night with a FaceTime call from my boyfriend.
Most-Used Apps: TikTok, Instagram, Messages
Screen Time: 6 hours, 58 minutes
Day 2: Scrolling, Scrolling, & More Scrolling
I know everyone says that you shouldn’t start off your day on your phone, but my first instinct is always to check my notifications and make my daily “most recent Pinterest pins” post on my Insta story. I grabbed a yummy waffle breakfast with my family and by 10 a.m. I was back on the internship grind. My first assignment of the day was brainstorming fall fashion article pitches, which meant I was sifting through #FashionTok to see what was trending.
The rest of the day was super relaxed, and we didn’t have any real plans, so after a short dinner of chicken tenders and fries, I went home and chilled on my phone while simultaneously re-watching episodes of Shameless on my computer. I finished off the evening by posting a TikTok vlog from dinner the night before can account for the four hours and 31 minutes I spent on the app that day.
Most-Used Apps: TikTok, Instagram, Safari
Screen Time: 10 hours, 8 minutes
Day 3: Medical ASMR & Beyoncé Prep
For my last workday of the week, I was hustling to finish up my assignments. One of them involved the concept of medical ASMR, so I spent quite a bit of time scrolling through videos watching everything from ASMR scalp checks to role-play chiropractic assessments. While ASMR never really had a calming or relaxing effect on me in the past, I can confidently say this specific type of video really did almost put me to sleep, so I had to set those videos aside, so I could continue my day without feeling like I had to take a nap.
This was my last full day of vacation, so after work, we were out on the town. After dinner, I spent time with family friends mini-golfing and of course had to vlog it for my TikTok. With one AirPod in, on the ride home, I was listening to the Beyoncé Renaissance World Tour set list in preparation for Saturday’s concert at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. The crowd was not about to catch me lacking with the lyrics. Before I went to bed, I texted my two roommates and tried to persuade one of them to buy a ticket and join us at the concert.
Most-Used Apps: TikTok, Spotify, Messages
Screen Time: 10 hours, 2 minutes
Day 4: The Adult Scaries & Even More Beyoncé Prep
I flew home from vacation on Friday afternoon. The flight was only 32 minutes, and I spent that time listening to Beyoncé again with a few Drake bops in between, as a way to manifest getting tickets to see him.
After getting in bed, the fear of true adulthood kicked in, and I spent a while trying to beef up my LinkedIn profile and search for any editorial internships, fellowships, and post-college job opportunities. Pre-bed time was, surprise, surprise, spent scrolling on TikTok, posting my last vacation vlog, and watching video after video of previous Renaissance concerts to get excited about the show. I finished the night by scrolling through my IG feed and sending funny reels and memes to friends.
Most-Used Apps: TikTok, Instagram, Spotify
Screen Time: 9 hours, 56 minutes
Day 5: Crazy In Love With Renaissance
The day had finally come and I was LIVING for it. Before arriving to MetLife Stadium, I had to make a Renaissance OOTD for TikTok, of course. After getting through the gates, my bestie and I took some pics. I edited and posted my silver chrome ‘fit to Instagram during the two hours we waited for the concert to start. The queen came on an hour late, so that time was spent scrolling through social media. The second the lights went down to indicate that she was about to come on stage, my phone camera was ready. I took 33 videos in total beginning with her starting song “Dangerously in Love” to her final song “Summer Renaissance.”
The only times I took breaks from my camera were to check the set list through a Spotify playlist to get excited about what was coming up next. Everything from the visuals to the choreography and the outfits was perfection. I was gagged, to say the least. The only bad part was getting an Uber home. After an hour of waiting and five Uber cancellations, we finally got a car and were on our way home. Before I went to sleep, I clicked through my videos, reliving the truly transformative experience.
Most-Used Apps: Camera, TikTok, Instagram
Screen Time: 7 hours, 34 minutes
Day 6: Recovering From Beyoncé
I dedicated all of Sunday to recovering from Beyoncé. I spent most of the day relaxing in my apartment, which, by nature, means watching TikToks, going through Instagram, and re-watching the videos of the concert I took on my phone. I edited and posted my Renaissance TikTok vlog and my posted another ’fit pic featuring my 2016 Formation tour bomber jacket, which I bought from her concert that year at Dodger Stadium in my hometown. This was coupled with several Insta story posts of clips from the concert.
I left the house once to grab lunch with my boyfriend, but on the bus ride over there, I spent most of my time on my phone. The evening finished with me obsessively watching videos from the Renaissance Night Two concert to see what new outfits Bey added to the wardrobe.
Most-Used Apps: Camera, TikTok, Instagram
Screen Time: 7 hours, 34 minutes
Day 7: Back To Work
On Monday, I was back at work and spent the entire day working on writing an article on 31 outfit ideas for August. Because of this, I spent a little bit less time on my phone than the previous days of this week. During the workday, I really only used my phone to listen to music on Spotify or look up fashion-related things on Safari like clothing to link for outfit recreations or for more POC-owned brands. After work was over, I scrolled through TikTok and Instagram for hours while again, re-watching Shameless, until I went to bed.
Most-Used Apps: TikTok, Safari, Spotify
Screen Time: 6 hours, 3 minutes
My main conclusion after tracking my screen time for a week is that I spend way too much time on my phone. I obviously really enjoy creating content — which means using my phone and scrolling on TikTok is quite literally a part of my job — but when I’m not posting, there are definitely other activities and things I could be doing to occupy my time. There are two books sitting on my nightstand that I haven’t started, and learning how much time I spent on my socials has motivated me to take a step back and read them before the school year starts.
TikTok is a really fun and immersive app, but it shouldn’t consume all of my free time. While vlogging for the app is super fun, I’m beginning to understand that I don’t need to vlog everything. The Beyoncé concert is something I absolutely wanted to capture on camera to have memories of my experience and to share with my fellow Beyhive members. But the two days I didn’t have a phone really did make me more present and in tune with my thoughts since I had no internet access when I was out or in the car.
I highly recommend that everyone try tracking their screen time because it really makes you think about and question your priorities. Since trying this out, I’ve definitely been making a conscious effort to put down my phone when I don’t need to be on it, like when I’m with friends or family, so I can create meaningful memories.