I bet you’ve heard this before: you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with (attributed to entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn).

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how this applies to media use. Could it be we’re the average of the 5 apps we spend the most time with, too??

My list looks like this: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Gmail, and Zillow.

Quite the uninspiring bunch. Runners up include Apple Podcasts and Libby, the library reading app (not that I’m trying to prove anything…).

My list reveals some things I know, like I spend too much time on social media. It makes me question new things, like should email be top 5?

This should do.

It also shows that million-dollar mid-century modern homes are my weakness, which I embrace.

What’s on your list? You don’t have to write it down, just do a mental check. Features like the “Screen Time” section on iPhone provide app usage if you’re ready for that reality check.

You can also apply this more broadly, so if you’re watching a lot of tv in the form of Netflix or the news (god help you), count it.

The only critical part is that you be honest. See my demographic-bending Facebook use as an example.

So, are you happy with your list? Which apps would you like to reduce? Any you’d rather not admit?

Maybe your list is where you want it to be… or maybe it’s a nudge that you don’t need to be on Instagram that much, like me. My list reminds me of the apps I wish were there, like Headspace or Medium, and how these can be good alternatives when I go to kill time on my phone.

You don’t have to go on a digital detox, but you do get to decide where you go from here.


To being better without a social media cleanse you break after 2 hours,