I don’t carry it around with me like a small token, or like a child with a blanket. I keep it in my purse when I’m out. I put it on the charger when I’m home. I haven’t ever had notifications on, except texts, so it doesn’t whirr, buzz, ding, or ring a whole lot anyway, and when it does…sometimes I just let it go.
Because guess what? If my whole family is here with me, then whatever is in that little rectangle is not an emergency and I can get back to it when I have time.
Earlier today, my youngest son had our neighbor over to play. Her mom and I were texting, and when we were done, I (naturally) went to check Twitter. The kids started talking to me, and I was immediately annoyed with them, wondering why they couldn’t stop bothering me when I was trying to read. Read tweets. (Mostly) from people I don’t know. I was BOTHERED by my son, and my neighbor who I love like my own child, because they were talking to me. And I remembered having this same feeling often, with both of my kids, because my phone was constantly planted in my hand, and I have been constantly engaged in other things. That’s when I knew my 2 days of disengagement meant a lifetime change for me.
I’ve read blog posts from others where they apologize for being not engaged enough or too busy tending to the needs of their household or job or both to tweet or be on Facebook and don’t know what Google+ is. Why are they apologizing? We should look to them for direction about how to live a rich existence outside of this small rectangle woobie.
“A telephone is not a toy, but a useful and valuable tool.”
-Carson, Downton Abbey
I’m very thankful to my real-life friend, Lisa, for posting this, and Hands-Free Mama for prompting her to give up a similar lifestyle. Is it easy? No. But is talking to my kids, and seeing their expressions, and knowing that they can see my eyes and know that I’m listening? That’s what will keep making it easier. You know what else? I’ve talked a few times here about smiling more and generally trying to be happier. I think this might be the answer. My brain feels more relaxed. I know that might sound weird, but it does. I don’t think we even realize how overloaded we are. In just two days, I feel less frazzled, and like I don’t have as much going on…because I don’t.
Granted, there is a certain portion of the day that I must spend online for work, and I like it. I like social media, and blogs…reading and learning. I love garnering information and sharing it and seeing that information shared. I absolutely love being surrounded by smart conversation and talk about music and TV and things that I enjoy and love.
What I don’t love, is that I was not spending all of my work time doing those things-or even my recreational social media or phone time. I was spending time reading tweets or Facebook posts about things which I didn’t need to concern myself, and voyeuristically looking in on people attempting to tear apart each other’s lives (and yes, you and I both forget, there are REAL PEOPLE behind these little devices). I worried why this person or that person (ones I didn’t know in real life or hadn’t seen in years) had unfollowed or unfriended me when people that wouldn’t leave my side are right here…and I’m so wrapped up in something else, that I don’t even see that my behavior is a problem, and it’s affecting our family.
The effort to change must come from me, and I want it. I like how I’ve felt over the past couple of days. I like that my thoughts are changing toward social media. I want to maintain a good working environment at V3, and with the awesome relationships I’ve built there. I want to go forth with that job and that kind of work in mind and surround myself with people and information that are going to bring positive energy and “good food” to the table. I think I can do it. I will do it. Could you do it too?