As I mentioned in my post about End-of-Semester Resolutions, one of the things that’s been bothering me lately has been my growing dependence on my technology. I love Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Bloglovin’, but sometimes enough is enough.
I had to use my computer for homework yesterday, so I downloaded this app called Self Control. It’s free for Mac and it blocks your web access to any sites you put on the “blacklist” for a period of time that you choose. With Self Control (due to a lack thereof) and my phone safely tucked away in a desk drawer, I went about my day.
12:02pm – Set Self-Control app blacklist: Facebook, my blog, and Bloglovin’. Set time for six hours.
12:07pm – Already stuck on problem one of homework.
12:08pm – Try to open Facebook as a reflex. Realize how automatic that was. Scary.
12:12pm – Again stuck on homework/finding no motivation to do it
12:13pm – Try to open Facebook again. It’s like I don’t even think first?
12:14pm – Return to homework.
12:35pm – Think about opening Facebook again, then remembered that I can’t. Darn. Must focus on homework. What did people do before the Internet?
1:01pm – Finish homework. Amazed at my productivity.
1:10pm – Eat lunch, then begin reading for a paper.
3:07pm – Finish a whole 200-page book uninterrupted. I could get used to this.
3:08pm – Check my phone quickly just to make sure no one is trying desperately to get ahold of me. One spam email and five snapchats. Obviously I’ve overestimated my popularity.
3:09pm – Return to classwork.
5:30pm – Complete an outline for a paper which isn’t due for two weeks. Do I have superpowers now?
5:31pm – Snack break (necessary)
5:40pm – Return to homework.
6:02pm – Self Control ban expires and I am free! FREE! Check Facebook, blog, then set the Self Control app for another three hours. The peace is just too nice.
My brief hiatus from the world of technology yesterday gave me the slightly painful realization that I depend much too much on technology. I use social media to avoid unpleasant things like homework problems I don’t want to do. I open Facebook as a reflex when I’m bored. I check my phone 5,000 times a day for literally no reason. How many hours of my life have I spent checking Facebook/refreshing my Snapchats/scrolling through emails mindlessly? Ugh. Probably too many.
My challenge for you today is to try this, even for a couple of hours. If you can’t be completely separated, at least minimize contact. Put your phone in a separate room with the ringtone on loud so if there is a really important call, you don’t miss it. Vow to stay off of social media (or download the app!) and give your brain a rest.
Yesterday, I felt more relaxed, less anxious, and I was about 10,000 times more productive. In a world where multitasking is glorified as the ideal, I think sometimes a little unitasking is in order.
How do you feel about multitasking? Is technology a help or a hindrance to you?