Scrolling through a Twitter timeline, clicking through Instagram stories, taking Snapchats and recording Tik Toks -- that seems to be a way of life these days.
Of course, some people spend more time on their cell phone than others.
It’s no different in the NBA.
But now, there are teams in the league looking to limit players’ cell phone usage, or at least, make players realize how much it consumes their time and lives.
The Washington Wizards recently had a team meeting to discuss how it’s the job of popular apps to keep a person on their cell phones. The meeting was titled:
“Better habits and behaviors around phone use.”
In a recent article written by Candace Buckner of the Washington Post, Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard said the hope behind the team meeting was, “not [to] quit cold turkey, but instead he said it’s about being able to “monitor, measure and adjust.”
Last season, the 76ers implemented a no cell phone rule during team dinners. Thus, the team would put their cell phones in a ‘phone bucket’ before sitting down to eat together.
Teams across the league all have their own ways of handling what has become such a common practice. Either in the locker room or when they’re receiving treatment – players are on their phones.
For the Trail Blazers, head coach Terry Stotts explained how his team has an understanding of ‘phone etiquette,’ but there are also a couple of team rules put in place when it comes to phone usage.
The only real cell phone rule we have is not to be on it during the team bus or in the locker room before a game other than that I think there’s a cell phone etiquette that everybody kind of understands.
It’s commonplace in the locker room after a game to see nearly every Trail Blazer taking a few minutes to themselves on their phones while soaking their feet in a bucket of ice or while having their knees wrapped in ice.
Being on the phone after a game is the same as when someone clocks out of work at 5:00pm. It’s permissible to check Twitter or Instagram or Facebook and get caught up on the current events for that day.
Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard doesn’t see how teams can ‘limit’ players cell phone usage, especially these days.
“I think it’s tough,” Lillard said. “I think so many things live on our phones now. I think if you go on the Internet, like I’m a big online shopper, so I shop on my phone. So I can be sitting there for like an hour and then I go from that to Instagram, then Twitter, to Snapchat, like all these things are available.”
“You spend so much time on your phone, it’s comfortable,” Lillard added.
The 4-time All-Star admitted he understands the negatives to spending hours looking at the phone screen.
I know they try to limit that. When that light is in your face all the time it’s hard to sleep at night. It’s hard to put your phone down and kind of just have that quiet time, but I’m not sure how they plan on doing that.
Lillard’s teammate Rodney Hood agreed with him, saying, “I don’t know about” as far teams limiting the amount of time a player is on their phone.
Hood doesn’t post to social media as often as some of his teammates, however, he does have a piece of advice for younger players:
“Over the years a lot has changed. I know social media can be good and it can be bad. Whether you’re getting good responses on there or bad responses you gotta realize that you’re human and everything is not good for you. So, I get off there a lot. You all see my post after the game, but as soon as I post, I’m off it and spend the time with my kids.”
Hood was also quick to say not spending a lot of time on a cell phone is not reality.
“I’m an advocate of staying off there as much as possible, but I also know that it’s a necessity in the world we’re living in right now, well, kind of like it is a necessity. It’s kind of torn. But, guys should do as much as they can handle, they can do whatever they want to.”
With the younger generation of NBA players loading up on ‘every gadget’ as Lillard pointed out, it’s even harder for them to not have so much screen time.
“I’m young, but I’m not as bad with it as guys that are younger than me. It’s like everything. They have every gadget. They got Apple Watches and iPhones, and iPads. It’s worse, and I’m not sure how they think they’re going to stop that. Good luck to them to get the phones down,” Lillard said with a smile.
Whether it’s online Christmas shopping, catching up with text messages, or scrolling through social media, the Blazers as a team understand when it’s a good time to be on their phones and when not to. Plus, with all the travel, that’s how they keep up with other NBA games.
From the sounds of it, there is no need for a team meeting in Portland about too much time on their devices. If there are any issues, they'll just text the team's group chat.