I did well managing my technology usage for the first few days of my self-imposed Tech Diet and then predictably crashed. My computer was just fine, but my willpower short-circuited.
I went back to my regular habit of picking up the phone whenever it beeped. Device producers are quite ingenious about including that little swoosh, bell, or ding dong to let the user know that someone wants immediate attention to an email or text.
The biggest drain came when I downloaded a couple new apps. Now I had already been given sage advice that my iPhone is a communication device. There is no use in downloading multiple games that encourage me to sit with my eyes glued to the screen. Do we really know how un/healthy this is for us? (Not yet, but I think we can all agree that there is some degree of harm incurred from having this thing so close to our heads for so many minutes throughout the day.) I became flat-out addicted to my new apps, and started bringing that phone into the bedroom when I put my kids down to sleep again. In other words, I was gorging on Technology.
I paid the price. I got sick. Really sick. I lost my voice which in turn made using my little device even more attractive so I could text and email people instead of talking. It still hadn’t hit me how far I’d gone in the opposite direction from my original intention of moderating my usage of computer technologies.
So here it is. It’s 6 am, and I didn’t necessarily wake up with the Sacred Moment I was after in my mornings. I have, however, just deleted a couple of the games that had me running to the phone. I also just opened up the daily wisdom from a wonderful app named “Today’s Step” – an app I heard about from my Tai Chi/Qi Gong Sifu. While it is focused on recovery, it has inspirational words for anyone wanting to increase their awareness throughout their days. Today’s nugget is, “Live not only the length of my life, but also the depth of it.”
That hits home. I have to constantly evaluate what sort of joy and reward I am getting from using my iPhone, laptop, or computer. If I am sending a letter to a friend in Alaska or writing a relative traveling in Cambodia then there is a connection being constructed. But if I am mowing down zombies then I am just getting a temporary instant gratification that pulls minutes away from my day that I just don’t have at this stage of my life.
A couple night’s ago I told myself that I was reinstating the ban on my phone in my room. The kids and I went to bed at the same time. I did some basic Qi Gong exercises and felt an energy and vitality return to my body.
The depth of my life is lived outside at a playground. In bed snuggling with my family. Searching for cool rocks at the beach. Drawing pictures and writing stories with my daughter. (This is the list which I will grow and grow over the years, not my list of apps or software applications.)