While driving the kiddos to school last week I heard something that was a tad alarming. Apparently we are addicted to our phones. We check our phones 110 times per day. Shocking, right!? My first thought was there is no way that was true. That study had to have been rigged. Then I took a second and really contemplated how often I check Facebook, email,the time, etc. My conclusion was that maybe 110 wasn’t such a ridiculous number after all. Perhaps we are addicted?
Hello, my name is Kat and I am addicted to checking things online. Checking what? Well, this is embarrassing to admit but I easily check Facebook a half dozen times right after I post something in order to see who will be the first to like or comment. I also do the same right after I send an email to see if they have replied yet. Like they are just sitting there waiting for my email…like they have nothing better to do, ha-ha! The crazy thing is that the beauty of Facebook and email is that it doesn’t have to be in real time. I don’t have to be present when someone hits like. Which makes sense now but what about later, how do I stop? How do I stop the insanity? Lol!
See, even if I walk away from the computer, silence the phone, and shut off any other screened device my mind will still be distracted with the thoughts of…I wonder if anyone liked that….I wonder if so-and-so read my comment….what if so-and-so read it, interpreted it wrong, and is spreading horrid lies across Facebook right now? And that is just Facebook. There is plenty more where that came from for emails, meetup, twitter, etc. I need to refocus! One of the main purposes of email, Facebook, meetup, etc. is the convenience, right? They should be freeing up my time. So why is it compromising my time? Is technology working for me or am I working for technology? Hmmm?
It clearly isn’t healthy to occupy your time offline thinking about the things going on online. So my solution is to unplug, redirect, and to go easy on myself. I remember reading somewhere that it takes us up to 21 days to adjust to a lifestyle change. So I have been planning my time accordingly and carefully. I have been allowing myself a ½ hour either in the morning or afternoon to check, post, and comment. This is proving more difficult than I had anticipated. Turns out my main downfall was instant messaging on facebook….it is fascinating how quickly time flies when chatting online with multiple peeps. So I had to adjust my chat settings, which felt slightly deceitful but it was necessary. And when I am offline I have found the following to really be a helpful distraction….
Painting with a Fairy Princess…..
Learning about NFL players with an Army Man…..
And partaking in a few science projects…..
My time is valuable and I don’t want another minute to be wasted on meaningless distractions about things that truly are not that important in the grand scheme of things. I mean let’s face it, while I enjoy reading Facebook statuses, seeing pics of my friends and their adorable little ones, reading an interesting article or two, etc. I am growing brains, young and impressionable brains. I need to model healthy behavior with technology. I don’t want my children to be slaves to the virtual world. But I must admit I only see this becoming more difficult given the rate that technology is advancing.
How do you balance your online time? How do you manage that urge to check your phone? Have you introduced technology to your children, if so how do you moderate that time? Are you concerned with the impact technology is having on children? Please share.