Last night I faced the modern-day challenge that I often face; to spend my evening online or not. I’m assuming that we all face this, right? It is not like I’m wasting my time surfing randomness, but the regular maintenance stuff — emails, blogging, researching questions on the internet, responding to questions, ordering things we need, etc.
Last night I felt pretty stale to all of the modern media. Like all of the Facebook/Google/email/blogging generation I live in was bogging me down. So I picked up two books I haven’t finished and ignored the computer. It felt so wonderful to put off emails and avoid all of the overstimulation of the cool/ trendy/crafty/inspiring things on the internet.
I already have rules for myself with the computer/iPad/phone but it is so easy to get lost in it all once you are in front of a screen. This article I read last night came in perfect timing.
Here’s what stood out to me:
10 Signs of Digital Overload
- Slipping away from activities with people to check e-mail or social networking sites.
- Checking the same sites repeatedly within a short period of time.
- Spending little time outside.
- Finding it hard to complete a task such as writing a report without frequently breaking away to check e-mail or unrelated websites.
- Spending little time in face-to-face interactions with friends.
- Going online or using a digital device when you feel stressed or want to avoid an unpleasant task.
- Family members spending most of their time at home in separate rooms interacting with screens.
- Frequently using digital devices to entertain a child instead of talking, singing, playing, or reading with him or her.
- Checking the computer first thing in the morning, or getting up during the night to use digital devices.
- Spending long stretches of time surfing for content, often viewing content that is inappropriate or borderline.
10 Ways to Cut Back
1. Check and answer e-mail only once or twice a day, at scheduled times.
2. Use social networking sites only at scheduled times and for a set number of minutes.
3. Practice a “digital Sabbath”—setting aside one or two days each week to “unplug.”
4. Leave your cell phone in another room during time with family or friends.
5. Call instead of texting.
6. Invite children to help search the house for supplies that can be used in non-digital activities: children’s books, board games, art supplies, and equipment for outside play.
7. Organize a talent show, art show, or service project with family or friends.
8. Use Internet-blocking software to keep on task while working.
9. Limit recreational surfing; watch TV and videos selectively and intentionally.
10. Keep a gospel-centered perspective, using technology to uplift yourself and people around you.
- Only letting myself check emails a few set times a day.
- Doing all of my internet tasks/searching before kids awake or at night. It leaves most of the day to really live life.
- Unsubscribing from junk mail in my Inbox. It saves time so I can be productive when I am checking my email.
- Having limits for my children as well.