I’ve decided to disconnect for a while. This decision came courtesy of a comment vocalized from someone whom I love dearly, my husband, when he said to me one day, “You are always on your phone.” I immediately became defensive and said, “No I’m not, and if I am it’s only because I’m bored. “ Now, he’s not complaining about me actually talking on my phone, I have a phobia about that aspect of a cell phone, he’s talking about texting, emailing, and most importantly, Facebooking. As I began to ponder this, I realized, he’s right. I have become what I’ve in the past categorized as someone I would never become, a person in need of constant and instant entertainment. I pride myself on having a good imagination, I’m a book lover, a word lover, a person who can sit and be one with my thoughts and with nature and be perfectly content. However, with the invention of smart phones and mine being a pretty snazzy smart phone with the unlimited data plan, I have become one of those annoying people who constantly reaches for my phone to read the world’s latest updates whenever I have a down moment or really any moment of silence. I also realized that I do this at home constantly with my laptop as well. I justify it in the name of blogging or keeping in contact with my friends when in reality I am checking out on those I love the most, those who need me to be present the most, and checking into some fantasy land where I give people who I hardly even know my very limited amount of brain cells and time as I try to interact with them and solve all of their and my problems. Pretty ridiculous really. I want to live and be and do in the real world, not check out into some cyber world. Cyberworld often appears to be so much more interesting and more important than my daily life which can often seem routine and mundane. I think cyber world is what the current crop of mothers turn to, probably very similar to what our mothers turned to in soap operas. It’s all a way to check out and live in some sort of fantasy world for a moment or two. I’ve been pondering ways to reduce this problem that I have. I suggested to Ryan that we could eliminate our data plans on our phones but then the reality of how much we actually use those plans sunk in. We use our phones for online banking, GPS systems, email, phone numbers, and the list could go on and on. So I tried to narrow in on the real problem and that is, I believe, Facebook. I’m pretty active on Facebook, it’s how I keep up with my friends and family, make new online friends, connect with the various groups that I’m involved in, keep up with the blogs that I follow, gather new information, and if I’m honest, just check out from being a mom sometimes (ok, often) so the first thing to go was the Facebook app on my phone. I thought this would be a complicated procedure, turns out it’s not at all, and I’ve noticed a difference already. I don’t feel tempted to grab my phone with every moment of silence anymore because there isn’t the appeal of the ever changing Facebook status wall waiting for me to tune in to and every new and exciting update from my 752 “friends.” Secondly, I’m going to evaluate some of the groups I participate in. As much as I feel like it can be supportive to be in these groups, there is also an aspect of it that is just a huge waste of time, and I don’t really have a whole lot of time to waste with my life. And finally it’s time to eliminate one of my three email accounts. The account I’m referring to is about 12 years old and honestly the only things that show up in my inbox are coupon offers, discount codes and worthless information. That account is about closed out which should free up a considerable amount of time as well. What it comes down to, in reality, is priorities. Checking out in cyber world is easy, often caring for 7 kids, nurturing a new marriage, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and gardening, those things take effort but those are also the same things in life that yield the greatest return. If I choose to use my time to nurture these aspects of my life and use technology as a tool for my benefit instead of technology using me as a tool, then I believe the dividends in my life and in my family will be increased many times over.
Just keep livin!!