Tech Crunch: Who’s the boss?
I love technology. I love it so much that I got my Masters in Computing in Education and became a Technology Specialist.
I loved learning how technology can enhance a curriculum when properly integrated and I loved being a technology teacher.
I love that I can order groceries from my phone.
I love that my kids can FaceTime and “see” their grandparents, cousins and friends even though we live in a different country.
I love that for anything in your life you want to track, from expenses to your fertility journey to your wine collection – there’s an APP for it.
I love that for every situation that can be a tedious task for humans, someone has built software to make it easier.
I loved watching kids learn to program robots.
I love that I get to learn about my friends’ kids’ personalities, and my friends’ daily lives without being there.
I love sharing family milestones, daily family snap shots, relatable memes and more with my friends and family on social media.
I love that I interact with friends AND complete strangers with my Baby Concierge blog and have the opportunity to consult on personal sleep training.
I can go on and on.
I have a running joke with my sister-in-law. Any time I do anything, from a birthday party idea to learning how to do virtually anything, she asks me, “this is great! Where did you find it?” or “how did you think of that?” My answer is always “I Googled it!” It’s gotten to the point that it’s funny that that is always my answer – but it’s so true. I google everything. I love that with my phone in my hand, I have access to almost anything I need.
Here’s what I don’t love. I don’t love that if my phone is in the other room I feel like I’m missing a part of me. I don’t love that I mindlessly open Instagram and Facebook too many times — more than I care to admit. I don’t love that I’m on the phone when I’m with my kids. I don’t love that I can be EXHAUSTED and want to have an early night but instead spend too long scrolling on my phone. I don’t love them I’m petrified for my kids to reach the age that they will ask for their own social media accounts. Unfortunately, this list can go on and on as well.
As I was scrolling social media tonight, I came across a video on YES theory, “Deleting Social Media For 30 Days Changed My Life.” https://tap.bio/@yestheory/cards/15382
I watched it. Over his journey you see how he regains control of his days and has so much more TIME to a) engage in activities that he’s interested in and also b) just plain time to be with his thoughts without the distraction of social media. Towards the end of the video, he sits down with Cal Newport, a computer scientist and author, who inspired his digital detox.
These were the major points I gathered from Cal.
“A lot of things important for human flourishing require some discomfort … an issue with technology is it can short circuit the discomforts.
We have a drive for sociality which requires getting out there and connecting with close friends, family and community but you can short circuit it by looking at Instagram or Facebook.
Boredom is a powerful drive to get us out there to do high quality leisure activities as humans but you have pleasing distractions on your phone so it short circuits the drive.
We are short circuiting the drives that’s supposed to push us into the discomfort.
Internet is at its best when it connects you to people and information to support a high quality leisure activity that interests you – in those cases the internet gives us a huge return.
Internet is at its worst when it subverts them, it replaces these activities.”
Another thing he said is that the social media companies took research done in Las Vegas and used it to make the apps more addicting, just like casinos.
Am I writing this to say I’m going on a digital detox? No. However, I am going to try and implement something Cal said. Post digital detox he says, “When you start adding these technologies back, you get these really well balanced lives where you’re predominately spending your time doing things that are quite meaningful and then you’re strategically deploying tech giving you these little boosts and supports for this life of value you built”
Just like with eating healthy, it’s all about balance. Fuel your body with the good that technology can bring you and definitely spend some time on social media for the fun parts. But, if you start feeling anxious from being on your feed or if you start to realize hours are adding up and you’re literally missing out on DAYS of your life (start counting those hours and it will terrify you) then that’s when it’s no longer in balance.
I do believe being an Orthodox Jew gives me an advantage to dealing with my phone addiction. By observing Shabbat each week, I have a built in weekly 25 hour digital detox.
It’s a good opportunity to use it as a check in:
1) Did I spend way too much time on my phone this week? Now with the screen time notifications, we all have that information.
2) Were there times that I used my phone to short circuit a desire to engage in an activity?
Deleting the apps aren’t an option for me. I believe there is a lot of good there. It’s just a matter of making sure I have control over it and not that it’s controlling me.