Ooooh the internet! Such an amazing invention. Such a great way to waste valuable time. I appreciate the internet, I remember the days when we didn’t have this world changing technology. Back in the day if I needed information, I had to pick up the phone and rely on the skills, talent, and knowledge of the professional on the other end to answer my inquiries. I also had to go in person to various places to get the information and resources that I needed. It wasn’t the end of the world, we had no other choices back then. We did what we had to do, but I can honestly say, I would never want our culture to regress to being without internet.
My issue with the internet and smartphones is that if we don’t use them properly, our bad habits begin to influence us more than the benefits. With ADHD it is even more imperative that we be aware of how we use our devices. It doesn’t matter if everyone else has bad technology habits; they meet their deadlines and goals, they likely don’t have co-morbid disorders, and they don’t have issues with impairment of executive functions.
I’m not going to suggest taking an Internet Hiatus or going without your Smartphone for whatever period of time, but I will encourage you to stop and take some time to consider and evaluate how much unnecessary and wasteful time you spent with information technology.
I wasn’t feeling well this weekend and spent a lot of time resting. I didn’t have much energy to go about, so I used this opportunity to declutter my phone and various things on my computer. I was amazed at the things I cleared out. I encourage you to make a list of various types of technology that you use and find ways to decrease their distraction temptation and how you can decrease the time you waste using some of these apps and products. At the end of this page are some of the changes I made for myself.
God wants us to be wise with our time because our life is precious. The challenges of self-monitoring and inhibition can’t be used as excuses; we get the same amount of hours, minutes, and seconds in our days as anyone else. We need to be diligent in making sure our free time is used as the gift that it is.
Here is a link to The Sophia Project, an easy reading article where she breaks down how to do a Social Media Detox http://www.thesophiaproject.net/detox/
This is the end of this post. If you’d like to see one example of decreasing and decluttering from Internet/Smartphone distractions, you can read below my personal account of how I did this for myself.
Changes That I Have Made For Myself :
–Computer Files: I deleted many files and managed to organize what remained for easier retrieval of information.
–Desktop: It was a mess, way too much information. I cleaned it up and now it doesn’t look so messy and overwhelming
–Pinterest: I had too many pins. What exactly am I going to do will all the stuff I pin. Am I going to make 200 recipes this year? Probably not. I decreased some boards and cleared out some of the pins. I hate to think of how much time I have spent pinning. I decided that part of my Internet Hiatus will involve no more pinning for the rest of August.
–Twitter: I unfortunately signed up for Twitter because all the articles providing Blogging newbie advice said having this was a must. I decided that for the rest of August I would keep to a maximum of 2 Tweets a day. I’m not a business woman, I don’t have a business to sell, so why should I be on Twitter all day tweeting. I also don’t have the time.
–FB: I took a partial hiatus from my personal FB account. Again, I can easily spend time reading all sorts of stuff and flipping through endless albums on Friends’ pages. I also don’t need to see anymore cute kitten pictures or doggy jokes. I only check the messages (not the news feed) once a day as FB is the best way for me to communicate with some people.
–Tumblr: Why does Tumblr exist? I’m not sure. This is one that I will actually delete unless someone tells me how it can benefit me. It seems like a great way for people to showcase their abs and not much more.
Instagram: I don’t post. I have an account and I don’t use it. Again, is there something on Instagram that I can’t do on FB or Google+ ? Yes, I know, the pictures look neat, but again, my time is more precious than neat looking photo effects. Besides, if it’s on Instagram, it’ll end up on FB anyways.
Google+: I have an account, again because of blogging, but I don’t invest time in G+. When I blog, the article automatically posts to Google. This saves me time and prevents the temptation to look around, comment, and other stuff.
Smartphone:I deleted lots of time wasting apps. They are time wasters for me, not necessarily for others. I also got rid of a lot of calendars and planners. I only use two planners on my phone. I kept things that don’t provide much distraction such as apps related to: weather, GPS, running, food points tracker, e-reader. Get rid of FB, Pinterest, and tempting games. I also cleared up the various screens. Decluttering the screens that you look at on your phone and computer make for a clearer mind.
Use of phone: I don’t make it a habit to chronically check my phone. I have various alerts and a very bright blinking light that lets me know if someone has called, text, or emailed. If any of these go off, then and only then will I look at my phone. Why do people keep picking up their phones and checking it all the time, as if this will automatically produce communication.
I also don’t like when people I am with answer their phone in the midst of our conversation or reply to texts unless the matter is urgent and timely. Wait until later to reply. This is a method I use for managing my time as well, it annoys people, but I don’t want to be a slave to my phone. I reply to people when the opportunity arises.
RSS Reader: I use this so that all the blogs and websites that I like to read are kept in one place. I don’t need to check the websites and this prevents me from becoming lost in the habit of procrastination by reading. Once a month I delete websites and blogs that I don’t keep up with. Again, the less there is to be distracted by, the better.
Thanks for reading through my list. Hopefully it provided a good example for those who may not know where and how to start. If internet and smartphone distraction is a problem, prayerfully consider how you can lessen these time wasters in your life. I am confident that for some of you it will lead to less anxiety, mindless reading, consumption of useless information, and provide one less way for you to avoid completing the things you would be better off doing instead. Time is valuable and so are you!