My Detox from Technology

I have a lot of catching up to do for class. I wasn’t able to make it back to the hotel in time for class on Tuesday and I haven’t been reading blogs, checking Twitter or practicing my language and here’s why.

This past week I was on vacation with my family in Disney World. It was an extremely busy week filled with rides, characters, swimming, walking, and eating. If you have ever been to Disney World you know just how crazy it can be and if you have been with a 2.5 year old and an 8 month old you’ll know that travelling with kids is even more crazy. Our days went something like this:

6:00am wake up, leave the room by 7:00 to eat breakfast and be gone from the hotel by 8:00 to head to the parks.

9:00am walk through the park gates. Ride ride ride and walk walk walk stopping to eat and go to the bathroom when needed. Spend the whole day at the parks with kids napping in strollers and head back to the hotel upon park closing.

Somewhere between 8:30-10:30 arrive back at the hotel. Get kids ready for bed (if not already sleeping on the way home), lay out clothes for the morning, pack up the backpack (diapers, bottles, snacks, food) and get to bed to do it all over again the next day.

Repeat this process for 4 days! Yes it sounds crazy and I’m sure some of you probably think we are crazy for taking our kids who are that young to Disney World, but we love to travel to Disney. I could explain all the reasons why but that would require a whole other blog so I’ll save that for a rainy day.

Now to get back to the real purpose of this blog…my technology detox.

Because the week was so busy I had limited time to spend on my phone. I’m not so sure I can call it a detox because I did have my phone with me and I did go on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and take pictures while I was away. But I certainly did not use my phone to the extent that I do when I am at home. I would say that I probably decreased my usage by a good 95% while I was away. When I am at home, my phone is ALWAYS within reach. I sleep with my phone charging on my night stand and it’s the last thing I do before going to bed. I check my emails, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat before going to bed. When I close one app, I open another and keep checking back with them all until I am too tired to continue checking. If I don’t fall asleep within 5-10 minutes I am right back on my phone checking something. I have often felt that I may be addicted to my phone. And maybe I am??

I sometimes think it causes me to lose sleep because I am on it some nights well beyond the point where I am tired enough that I should be sleeping. When I wake up in the middle of the night I check what time it is on my phone but will check emails and social media sometimes for 15-20 minutes before I try get back to sleep. I think it’s a habit that I have gotten myself into. I saw a newscast before I left on vacation about FOMO – Fear of Missing Out– and I definitely agree that I suffer from that. I am constantly checking to see what people are doing and what I might be missing out on. It’s like I don’t want to be the last person to know who got engaged or announced their pregnancy. I wasn’t able to find the news clip I saw but while I was trying to find it I came across a quiz that you can take to see where your level of FOMO ranks. I took it and here are my results.

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 2.16.34 PM

Screenshot of Quiz Results from http://www.ratemyfomo.com

You can see that I am in the upper end of the curve. My ranking was high which wasn’t a big surprise to me. After the past week with limited cell phone use it made me realize that there really isn’t anything so important that I am missing out on. At the end of a long day I was tempted to sit and scroll through my newsfeed, but there was so much I had missed it was overwhelming and I decided to just head to bed. I had to tell myself that if there was big news I had missed I would hear about it soon enough. I didn’t have a nightstand on my side of the bed so my phone was plugged into the wall across the room. I didn’t fall asleep with it near me and didn’t spend time looking at it before bed. I didn’t spend time on it in the morning when I woke up either because we didn’t have time.

The limited use this past week was actually really refreshing. It was nice to recharge and nice to realize that I will survive without checking my phone every 15-20 minutes to see if I missed anything. I realized I don’t need to update pictures or posts on a daily basis to share what I have been up to because for the most part no one really cares that much about what I am doing anyways. I know that phones are amazing for connecting us and they make things very convenient as well, but they can also be a distraction. I am happy to say that I learned a lot about my technology use and will be making some changes moving forward. My first change is getting an alarm clock so I can charge my phone across the room from me where it won’t be a distraction when I wake up in the middle of the night. I want to continue to limit the amount of times my phone because a distraction and use it with for meaningful interactions or learning. For the most part keeping up and catching up with friends and family can wait. It’s the moments like these that won’t wait.

A family photo with Mickey Mouse

A family photo with Mickey Mouse

How do you feel about the amount of time you spend on your phone? Is it a distraction at times? What do you do to ensure you have a healthy balance between screen time and non-screen time? What were your results from the FOMO quiz?

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “My Detox from Technology

  1. I totally hear from you are coming! That was my very first blog in this class http://bit.ly/1RutKN5. Balance, like you said, is essential for survival. That’s partly my rationale for my learning project of nutrition and wellness because it would force me to be “checked-out”, and immersed in the offline world. This class has also pushed me to reframe how I’ve been using social media and thinking about connectivism. My biggest problem was that I was literally just a consumer of it and would get lost in that current. Now, I’ve been a producer in sharing, creating etc online. It’s like my role has flipped.

    I was happy to read about your fun family getaway (and jealous). It’s hard balancing motherhood, work, and a class; but spending time with family is the most important thing!

    Like

  2. Buongiorno, Ashley! I hope your trip to Disney World was molto bene! You know, I think sometimes detoxes from a variety of things in life are helpful in re-centering. Vacationing has always been one of the ways I have detoxed as well; you just don’t have time for your cell phone, your tv, Internet, etc. It’s interesting how we don’t realize how much time we spend (or waste?) on certain aspects of our life, and we won’t get the chance to realize this until we are forced to do so.

    Glad you had a great time! Grazie per condivizione!

    Like

  3. I feel like your words came straight from my mouth Ashley! I share many of the same challenges and find a hard time maintaining this important balance. I feel rejuvenated after a vacation and a break from my “tech addiction” but then the rejuvenation is quickly squashed by me feelings of guilt for not checking my emails, keeping up with readings, etc.

    Even in terms of this course, I find it difficult to figure out how much I should be posting on Twitter, our google community, and blogging, while still keeping balance in my life. Many weekday nights it will be midnight and my husband will be yelling at me to shut off the computer and get to bed. I can always find something else I should be commenting on, tweeting about, etc.

    I also find that my phone can be a stress reliever in a way. If I’ve had a rough day, I often enjoy just coming home and sitting on the couch for 20 minutes looking at my phone. This sometimes mindless activity is somewhat of a release and just allows me to calm down after the day. This has been a challenge in that sometimes this is the only time I have in a day to connect with my husband, and instead, I can be caught stuck to my phone. We’ve definitely had conversations and both had to take steps to limit our screen time.

    Thanks for your honesty!

    Like

    • It is tough to balance isn’t it? I think my husband thinks I spend time on my computer doing nothing useful, but a lot of it is for class. Having been gong last week and being somewhat disconnected it is overwhelming trying to catch up. Note to self: don’t go on vacation during class haha. I just had to take advantage of being on mat leave and going on vacation when it’s not so expensive and busy. Of course it was well worth it but I feel like I fell so far behind and have a lot to catch up on. I told myself that it’s almost impossible to go back and read all the tweets and blogs I missed so I just need to pick up from where I can and keep moving on. I’m glad you have similar struggles…I’m sure we all do!

      Like

  4. Great post! I agree that we need to find that balance in our busy lives. It is so easy to grab your phone to check out what everyone is up to. I also think it is important to teach our kids to find that balance, especially with screen time and finding time to be active and be outside. I think this is challenging to do with all the hype with technology and how easy it is to be online or in front of a screen. Growing up for me, the only thing we had was a landline (phone) which I would use to call my friends to go and play and if I no body answered, I would go knocking on doors.

    Like

  5. Pingback: Italian 101: Italian on the go? Not so much. | Ashley Murray

  6. Yes! I am constantly in trouble from my husband for being on my phone! I use it to feel connected to my far away friends and less lonely, especially in the middle of the night when I feel like I am the only one up feeding the baby.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s