I returned to daily journaling recently (at the urging of a friend!) and, although I’ve decided I mostly use it to whine about whatever happens to be irritating me, occasionally I have one of those “lightbulb” moments. AH HA! The most recent one involves my relationship with the internet and other technologies. I do SO love the internet! If someone was to take my connection away for any length of time I know I’d be like a smoker without cigarettes or a foodie on a diet, the withdraw would make me cranky, whiney and hard to live with. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit how much I love it. Now, I’m sure there are lots of things about the internet that are unloveable but I just stick to the things I do love. Posting on my blog, working on my website, Facebook, Twitter, chat groups, art groups, shopping, more Facebook & Twitter, email (I have multiple accounts), reading blogs, looking at my friends websites…well I could go on but you get the picture. Of course I also use my computer, without the internet, for photo editing, creating digital art, paying bills and a variety of other tasks. The downside is I that when I am doing those everyday tasks I tend to also get online Once there I become attached to the computer like it has an umbilical cord. If I were able to do what I need to do, enjoy the social/fun aspects of the internet for a short while and then leave there would be no problem. But, as I said, I am an addict and that’s just not how it works for me. So I spend an incredible amount of time online clicking, reading and typing followed by more typing, reading and even more clicking. Add into that the telephone calls and texts that I receive and send all day, the additional hours spent staring at a television screen (watching shows I record on the DVR and just have to see) and I feel like technology is taking over my life! SO, getting back to my “AH HA!” moment, I have been weaning myself away from the electronic world a little bit at a time. I started with just a couple hours at a stretch. Amazingly, I survived – as did all my online “friends”, my blog, and the world in general. The last three weeks I’ve managed to “unplug” for several eight hour time periods. As I suspected, it’s pretty amazing what a difference it makes in my productivity! For eight straight hours there is no internet, the phones are unplugged or silenced, the television stays off and I have an entire day to work on projects, art, chores and reading that I “never have time” to get to. I don’t plan these days when I know I’m going to be away from home anyway, that would sort of defeat the purpose and negate any kind of bragging rights I might have too. 🙂 It’s a liberating feeling to be around the technology but not be using it. I gives me a feeling of control and, being a control freak…I LIKE IT! My goal is to gradually increase the days and hours that I unplug until I find a comfortable balance. In the meantime I will celebrate each little victory! Do you have things in your life that hold your precious time hostage? What would make it worth giving those things up?
Something to ponder,
P.S. I do make an exception on my unplug days for my iPod! 🙂 I may be able to pull myself away from the internet, phones and DVR but my music addiciton…well, that would be a whole new project to tackle – and an entirely new blog post!