The past month has been a whirlwind, and now that things are slowing down, I'm taking a hard look at how my real life and my technological life intersect.
No matter how "aware" I think I am of my device-use, the truth is, it's a vortex that's easy to fall into....have you ever checked your phone for a recipe, but seen that you have a new text message, so you read that, then you respond, then you see an email, then you decide you need to check Facebook to see if your friend answered the question you asked her there....and 20 minutes later your daughter is plucking at your sleeve asking you to play with her, you still haven't written down that recipe, and you've somehow landed on the Instagram page of someone you've never met and are scrolling through an entire lifetime of their photos?
Please tell me I'm not the only one.
Anyhow, I strongly feel that it's time to draw some firmer boundaries between the internet and me.
The first thing I did was decide to check for text messages once a day. This works for me because my children are still little (ie, they're not driving around, possibly needing me!). It also works for me because my husband does not use a cell phone, so we do not communicate via texting.
I haven't decided if it would be best to check first thing in the morning or last thing at night, though. I want to check them all at once and respond, then turn the phone off. I sent a warning email out to the few people I text the most, letting them know that I'll respond, but not immediately, to texts...and if they need me immediately, call the house!
The second thing I'm going to do is check email only once a day, at the same time I check texts. I'll file, respond, or delete all the emails I get at once, and then not check again until the next day. This seems more efficient than checking a million times a day when I see the little envelope icon on my phone......
The third thing I'm still sorting out is how to deal with all other internet use. I do have a Facebook account (no app on my phone, though). I do read a handful of blogs. I do "research" on the internet. I sometimes check the news. I scroll through Instagram. It's just hard to keep a handle on all of it.
A couple of years ago our modem died and the week I spent without internet access at home was one of the best weeks of my adult life! I asked my husband if we could just not replace it, but he didn't think that was practical (and he was right, I'm sure). But I loved having to leave the house to use the internet--it made my online time much more focused and streamlined. So I am considering assigning 2-3 days a week for going through a list of things to read, check, and research, and sticking to a time limit (30 minutes?) each time. (I guess that's when I'd write my blog posts, too.)
Is it possible, in this day and age, to step back from technology like this?
I'm going to give it my best effort. I long for a less distracted frame of mind. The internet has many benefits, but it's so very distracting, and I fear it is robbing me of too much of my time.
I'll let you know how it goes!