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.
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.
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?