I keep thinking about how I need to be spending less time online, because I’m not only spending my free time sucked into a device, but I’m also doing it at work now. I’ll unplug briefly while on the horse or at dinner with a friend, but I feel like the only time I’m truly 100% unplugged is when I’m asleep and that is terrifying.
I’ve read a lot of posts and articles on smartphone addiction and every time I do I feel great proudly announcing that I’m not addicted to my phone, because in fact, I actually forget my phone and don’t have it on me all that often. But here’s the hitch, and it’s a really big one, I’m addicted to my laptop, so it really doesn’t matter whether I have my phone or not. Obviously with a laptop I’m only drawn to it when I’m at home. When I’m out of the house I don’t think about checking anything or tweeting out, but the moment I step through my front door I feel a gravitational pull towards it.
I’ve fallen into a routine of checking certain sites for updates, and listening to lectures and podcasts while I do it so I feel productive. I’m not being productive. I’m feeding myself the exact same type of information every single day. It’s become completely mindless.
I read a blog post that talked about how we were using our electronics for simple tasks instead of our brains and it was a great talking point, but that’s not why I feel like my brain is asleep when it comes to technology. I feel like I’m asleep because I’m doing the exact same mindless scrolling everyday. How are we taking in this much information all the time without actually learning anything new?
It’s baffling and it’s concerning. When I read books I’m removed from all distracts and am completely exposed to one view instead of seeing fifteen “posts you may also like” beside me in the side bar. When I spend time writing or painting or taking photos I sharpen my skill sets and learn how to express myself better. When I bake I’m spending less money and eating things that tend to be better for me. When I spend time with fictional drama instead of real life drama I learn the morals and lessons the characters do rather than riding on cheap punch lines. And when I’m doing this all I’m not only learning and producing things I need, but I tend to be much much more relaxed.
Will I give up the internet while I’m not at work? No. The idea is completely laughable. I know I’m not committed enough. But I need to get out of the mindless loop of empty consumption. I need to break free of the scrolling. I need to learn something again.