Yesterday I read this blog post by Hands Free Mama called “How to miss a childhood.” The balance of being a mom and technophile is particularly relevant to my life right now. While much of what she describes I have already consciously decided against, there were still things to reflect on.
- My phone is often in my back pocket, and if it’s not, the number one request to my spouse is “Would you get me my phone?” I pretty much do 5 things: Facebook, texting, email, Words with Friends or Scrabble, and taking pictures/videos. If my son is awake and playing, I don’t use it, unless I need to see my calendars or add a reminder. But it is still always there like a safety blanket.
- I admit that I check my phone at stoplights. Usually it’s scrolling through Facebook, sometimes it’s texting about daycare pick up with my husband, but it’s almost always of no consequence. I need to get out of the habit now before the carseat is facing forward and he’s watching me do it.
- We sit down to meals, whether at home or in the dining hall, and my phone is on silent. I’m careful about not having that be an interruption. Same with any family gatherings. There was one moment over winter break where the tv was on and 3 out of 4 adults were on a device. Not me.
This month I’m going to change a couple things:
- No Facebook – app will be deleted on my phone & iPad and I will practice self-restraint on the computer.
- iPhone dock on the shelf – when I come in, it’ll be out of my pocket and set down. The ringer will be on, in case someone calls, just like a land line. No carrying it around and leaving it everywhere. I will use a travel alarm as my alarm clock, so it won’t even be in the bedroom with me.
- Only important use in the car when I’m parked only – not every stoplight, not just to scroll emails. If it’s a long drive and I have time to call my Dad, that’s okay.
There is an additional goal with all of this that may seem contradictory. During this month, I want to tweet more and explore other apps for creativity. This is part professional and part personal. I find that most of my iPad or iPhone use is consumption, and I want to expand and enrich my online portfolio.
For the record, I’m not a Facebook addict. I don’t think giving up Facebook is going to change my life and make me a better person. I feel that I have developed a healthy relationship with my technology, knowing when to turn on or turn off, not losing hours to the internet. I’m hoping that turning off Facebook frees me to explore other opportunities with my technology and pushes me to learn, adapt, and change.
Here we go.