Monday, March 14, 2011

Tech detox

The first step in AA is admitting you have an addiction.  So here it is: I'm addicted to the internet, particularly my smart phone.  My iPhone has the capability of checking Facebook, my email, USA Today, NPR, Huffington Post (Green section, of course), the weather, the movies, making lists, and most importantly, my calendar.

The fact that I can do all of this makes it extremely difficult to get out of bed in the morning as I check all of these things before I start my day.  Unfortunately, however, it doesn't end there.  No, I actually had to make an effort this week to only check my phone once an hour.  Isn't that sad?

This doesn't exactly fit the mold of a tree-hugging environmentalist, does it.  We're supposed to be completely disconnected from the technological world.  But, as I mentioned before, I'm not your normal hippie.  I own a TV and even have cable.  The internet is my friend but perhaps being too connected isn't so eco-friendly (because of all the power it takes to charge all of these devices).  I think it's time for a change.

I've seen so many news articles about how our kids are being neglected by parents being on their smart phone or laptops that I started taking a look at myself, and it ain't pretty.
Here's the steps I've taken so far:

  • Only get on my laptop while the kids are at school or are in bed.  
  • Only watch TV if the kids are watching or after they've gone to bed.  
  • I even try to not listen to news radio when my daughter's in the car so I can give her my undivided attention.  
  • And my phone, well, I'm trying to keep it out of reach in order not to be tempted to look at it.

So far the strategy is working.  I keep the phone ringer on super-high so I can hear it ring anywhere in the house.  I don't keep the laptop within reach when my daughter is at home.  The problem is when I'm out and about.  I have the phone in my hand usually if I'm grocery shopping and old habits die hard.  Even my daughter is addicted to the phone as I use it to keep her occupied at doctor's appointments or soccer games (that she's watching, not playing in.  Now THAT would be addicted!).

So this is my goal:

  • To be less dependent on that darn 3x5 device that sucks up my mind once I pick it up.  
  • Treat every silent moment to build my patience, not as an opportunity to see which basketball team won the NCAA game that day nor to email a friend.  
Let's see if I can start living in the moment, giving my kids all of my attention, and not having to fill all of my time with technology.  Who knows, maybe I won't even notice the difference after a week or so.  :)


  1. I agree. It's difficult. My groom staged a little intervention with me in hopes of setting me straight via proper technology use. I'm a better mom and wife for it.

  2. I'm getting there, Sue! I feel much less like a neglectful parent when I've put my phone down and actually listen to them instead of just nodding saying "that's nice". I can't let them thing that they're not important to me.
    Glad the intervention worked for you! :)

  3. Gasp! You have cable? You mean you don't knit your on clothes out of dryer lint? Oh that is homeschooler moms. :) Great post. I agree ... it's tough but just "being aware" is the first step! Way to go mom!!