The last few months I have been thinking a lot about the impact of technology and social media in my life. How we interact with it, how it interacts with us. I found myself asking a question; Could I it give up? What would my life look like without it?
A realization for me was when I had a few people over at my apartment to hang out. The majority of the people in my life are from work, we tend to talk about work more than we should but most of the time it’s jovial. As the night progressed there were many moments when every last person was on their phone and no one was talking to each other. I really began to think about past situations when I am with people, friends, family, or anyone for that matter. I found that jumping onto my phone, checking Twitter, Facebook, or texting and emailing have been a default go to when I am unsure as to what to do or say when I am around people.
I have realized that I’m the worst offender.
So I ran a test. What if I limited my amount of technological dealings and social media intake. What if I spent that time elsewhere, doing other things and using my brain cells for other endeavors?
First, let me give you a peek at what technology and social media was like for me on a typical day prior to my test.
Wake up – check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pulse (for blogs), and e-mail
Prepare for work – check Twitter, Instagram
Driving to work – check email and Twitter again.
1st break at work – check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and e-mail and maybe start a podcast. Let’s not forget to respond to texts too.
lunch at work – check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pulse, and e-mail all while eating and listening to the rest of the podcast and responding to texts
2nd break at work – check Twitter, Instagram, and e-mail.
Leaving work - check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and e-mail and respond to any type of correspondence.
Afterwork throughout the evening - check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pulse, and e-mail
Going to bed - check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pulse, and e-mail
Let’s recap and take inventory shall we?
Times I checked…
Twitter - 9
E-mail – 8
Instagram – 8
Facebook - 6
Pulse – 5
Whoa, writing it all out it seems like major overkill and if I am really honest these are conservative numbers here. Also, this doesn’t even associate time spent on my computer.
I spend a lot of my time during the day flooding my mind with information. Most of it, I will never retain or have the ability to recall. How could I? The pace at which we intake information is faster than our brains can process. It’s like filling up a glass of water and not stopping when the water reaches the brim.
So most of you are all thinking to yourself. Man this Jesse guy is a bit crazy, does he realize what day and age he lives in? Does he realize that technology runs our lives? Does he even know what he is talking about? Let’s face it, if you have read this far into the post than you’ve thought the same thing I have at some point in time and you are probably a worn down from it.
I ran my test and here is what I found out:
- Instead of checking on what everyone else is doing. I am asking myself what I am doing. What am I doing with my life? what can I do more of, what can I do less of? How can I improve myself how can I help improve others? How can I finish what I started? How are my friends and family doing?
- Instagram is awesome there is no doubt about it, but instead of just snapping a pic of a beautiful scene and spending 5-10 minuets editing, hash-tagging and posting it, spend a few minuets actually admiring the real deal right in front of you.
- My reading has become a priority. I have spent more time diving into books and learning about different writing styles, great stories and expanding my vocabulary.
- Sparking my creative side again. With this time that I have freed up from checking my social media all the time, I have found myself coming up with more inspiration and motivation to create. I have designed a coat rack on paper, finished a conceptual drawing of a airport terminal both physical design and floor plan, I have designed certificates for my fantasy hockey league. I’ve been the most creative I have been since I was child and was forced to do arts and crafts.
Do I, and will I continue to use technology and social media? Absolutely, they aren’t going anyway and their growth is exponential. What I really wish for you to take away from in this post is that there is a balance. Find that balance and enjoy being disconnected every now and then. You won’t regret it
Could you give it up?