I’m ravenous and gluttonous and putting on extra pounds worth of bookmarks, history logs, and reading lists. It’s time to go on a tech diet. Does any of this sound familiar? Wake up, turn on the computer, check the weather, check email and social networks, look at headlines, eat breakfast, repeat technology interface pattern profusely throughout the day.
I got the wake up call when I read an article claiming that checking a blog and Facebook over and over again was the food equivalent to eating empty calories. It makes sense. Checking sites constantly was motivated by seeking out a reaction instead of initiating an action. A year ago, I had made a resolution to use technology for the Power of Action Not Distraction. The quest had its momentary triumphs, but was largely lost due to my inability to control binge searches when Husband was out and the kids were asleep.
But didn’t and don’t I need some sort of connection to a world of adults outside of playgrounds and popsicles? Was it so bad to take a part of my day out to just stare at a screen and press buttons rapidly? Wasn’t I raised to be this technology glutton from my childhood mentors Coleco and Atari?
If I felt like technologies were digging into my ability to be present-minded with my kids then they were surely picking up on it too. So it is time to try and make some changes in how I move about around my computing devices.
- Start my day with some Sacred Time. I love when my first rousing minutes are spent slowly waking up to the day with a pot of tea brewing. If my children are up, I will make them breakfast or start an early morning activity like baking banana bread before I log on.
- Evaluate the impulse. The following LifeHacker article explains how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help reduce stress and improve one’s mood. I’ve been reading this article several times a day lately.
- Use technology to control technology usage. I have started setting the timer on my phone for 1.5 hours, so I have a time to check in with my virtual presence. It makes me aware of how often I pick up my phone to check messages, email, or texts.
- Is it working? Am I relying on the phone for engagement and more engaged with what’s in front of me?
Monday was a family birthday, so it was an easy start my first day of the Tech Diet (hence the Tuesday post of a “Monday Motivator”.) The phone was appropriately tucked away in my purse – not the source of my fun, just a phone.