Are you addicted to digital?
Dear lord, I think we all know the answer to this question though right? YES, we are addicted to digital, and my attention span seems to be shrinking by the minute.
But HOW addicted are we? Are we able to unplug and step away for a day, a week, or more?
I have an interesting history with this topic. When I was in second grade my Mom was spearheading a movement in my local school/community called "unplug the plug-in drug" where they campaigned to have the school and their families STOP WATCHING TV FOR A WHOLE WEEK! And there were events and even a rapper from high school preaching "unplug the plug-in drug!" and I will never forget wearing my MC hammer pants and getting down in the auditorium thinking "My Mom did this YO!"
I even showed my face on the local TV station saying how I thought (as a seven year old) about this idea, it was a big deal!
That was 1990 people... almost 30 years later, and this campaign is needed more than ever! But how would we be able to unplug in a time when we rely so heavily on our computers and phones to get by?
I know for me this has been more of a refining process now, when it was a simple decision back in 1990... no ATARI allowed, no shows, and no huge ass desktop computer games was all it meant. Now it would mean, no GPS, no Netflix, no Instant Messaging, no Texting, no Youtube, no EVERYYYYTHINNNNG! So, it's not about trying to go back to 1990 and say BYEEE to everything, but more about assessing the quality of life we are leading with these tools.
These techie and digital tools are kind of like the mind, they can be beneficial aspects or complete enemies. That pendulum swings in different directions for different people at different times, so do NOT judge me for waking up and going straight to my emails while I stay lying in my drool from the night before.
Sometimes that is so not cool for where I'm at, and other times that is exactly how I want to be handling my digital duties. But how do we know??
We listen. We feel. We question. We unplug from what seems to be right for others so we can tap into whats right for us.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to assess your relationship to digital:
- Are you able to finish a task without checking your Instagram?
- Do you go to Facebook for a task and get sucked into the worm hole of doom?
- How many hours of TV/Film do you watch per week?
- How much time are you spending on digital for use other than what's on your to-do list?
Notice that a theme here is Tracking Time. I love different apps that can help you to track your time and see how much time is actually being spent on digital. You can even track the time you were PRODUCTIVE on digital, or when you were DISTRACTED on digital, and this can add more self-awareness to the situation.
Addiction is a thing... and we can all learn more about how we can utilize digital in unhealthy ways. We don't have to HATE digital, in fact this kind of technology is something I see changing the way the world operates in all sorts of positive ways... but it takes responsibility and accountability in order to truly understand the difference.
What are some ways you already see yourself being addicted to your phone or computer or TV?
Do you gravitate to the mobile device as soon as you see someone else check theirs?
Do you feel like you ignore the present moment just so you can check on the latest posts in your feed?
We don't have to beat ourselves up, but asking these questions day by day can help us make small movements in the trajectory of our experience. Maybe we will turn to nature and take a deep breath the next time we feel a need to plaster our face to some digital device. Maybe we go turn on some music and shake our ass a bit instead of watch someone do it on TV.
Digital technologies are an amaaaazing tool when we don't allow them to have power over us... and this is a life-long journey of evolving with the use of more and more technology as time goes by. Expect MORE of these challenges, not less, as we continue to evolve...
BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF, and your human-ness. You are a crazy awesome creature in this evolutionary world. Don't forget it... and love up your mistakes. They're pure GOLD.