I am working on being a lot more intentional about things. One of those things is technology. I am like most middle class Americans – smart phone, tablet… and like many homeschoolers with classes, schedules, and other stuff on the computer. Technology can be a great thing, but it can also be an annoyance and a distraction. I realized recently I had gone from useful to distraction. During school time I was wasting time online, when I was in the bathroom (confesion time here) I was fooling with my phone. I read the news too much. I read message boards too much. I read Facebook WAY, way too much. Addicted? Maybe. Anyway, I was convicted it was time for a change so I devised a plan…
The Media Garage.
The kids and I now have a media garage. Part of my motivation was to control all the chargers (and the whining that goes with them being misplaced), and part of it was to just control the devices. The kids use their Kindles as metronomes, and piano timers, so they get used regularly. I think they’re great tools for those things, but I hate when they are used without permission, the chargers get lost, they get lost… You know the deal. So for the kids the garage serves as a storage and charging center. When the device isn’t in use, it’s in the garage. Period. If it leaves the garage, you have to have permission.
For me, the garage does the pretty much the same thing, but since I’m an “adult” it’s more of a self control tool. At any time I am not using (like ON A CALL) my phone, or deliberately using the internet (on my ipad) they are in the garage. No surfing while watching a show – I focus on the show… Or during school – I can focus more on school, or other more pressing tasks than seeing status updates… Yes, there is time for surfing and updates, but I needed less of it.
Another issue I had was falling asleep with my phone, or using it when I woke up in the middle of the night. Now – the electronics are in the garage at night. I’ll live. Yes, with this being about 5 days old I’ve had a little withdrawl on the no technology in the bedroom. We do have a TV, but since it only gets 3 channels it’s really not an awesome distraction, LOL!! I am also back to an old school-ish alarm clock (or rather a SWEET Lego Monster alarm with a glow int he dark head! YAY!). I think overall this will help my sleep and make me go back to sleep, or get up, when I have a weird wake up time.
The other thing I did that is supremely annoying, but is really helping, is I disabled the browser on my phone. It’s simple to restart it if I really want it, but 5 days in and I’m so glad it’s gone. I had considered turning off data, but I really like the maps, navigation, etc. that use data. So – safari and Facebook are gone. If I want to surf, I need to be deliberate. Like right now. Sunday afternoon, chilling on the porch in the beautiful fall afternoon. I don’t need the internet all the time… or every time a question pops into my head… or for every little thing I need to research. I can think about it. I can wait until later. I can see if I remember it later and if it’s really something worth my time. Life or death – I know the password. I’ll be fine.
There you go. Week 1. So far it feels like a diet. I hope it’s an easy one!