Not Through a Screen: Part II

So the time has come for me to begin writing Part II to Not Through a Screen. If you haven’t read Part I and would like to, here is the link. The gist of it is this: I truly believe that our lives are being dominated by technology and, while advancements are wonderful and truly impressive, there is a time and place for its use.

All too often we are surrounded by people on their phones. I have become much more perceptive of it and have, in some instances, become the phone police. I’ll tell you why; when you start to notice it more often, it becomes more and more disturbing. The worst is when even calling someone out isn’t enough. To be on your phone sometimes is fine. I’m definitely on mine. But when you can’t be torn away from your device, there’s a problem.

I’m no saint. I love blogging, surfing Pinterest, and Facebook. Again, for me it’s not about relinquishing, but moderating. When I am with friends and family, I don’t want my eyes on a screen. Time is precious with each and every person in your life. I feel like many are losing sight of that.

So where does Part II come in? Quitting cold turkey is not the goal. The goal, again, is moderation. So the question becomes, “How can I moderate and distance myself from the use of technology?” Some options are easier to figure out:

  • Little to no phone use when I am with family or friends
  • Keeping my phone on silent during the day (boss hates this one but has come around to it—I have an office phone)
  • Choosing to close down and perform another activity when I’m feeling hooked
  • My computer goes off at the end of the day, unless I have more work to do or plan on blogging later

But I wanted to try and come up with more than just “rules.” I wanted to come up with things I could work into my routine that would allow me to naturally phase it all out. I’m all about smaller steps recently and so I’ve started with my mornings. I am very fortunate to have time every morning to myself. Sometimes it’s less than others, but I typically have an hour and a half to two hours to get ready and focus on the things I would like.

The first and most expected rule is no technology until I am ready to either blog, email, or start work. I charge my phone in the morning, so it stays in the bedroom. But as I said, I needed to come up with something to add into my routine to not just act as a rule, but to teach me ways to better spend my time. So I’ve started to have my first cup of coffee in my chair, with no TV, no phone, no iPad, nothing. Just me and my cup of coffee to the hum of my fridge and heater (and the occasional cat noises).

The result has been astounding. Having my first cup of coffee works great because I am not a fast drinker. I take my time and it slows the process down. From there, I just let my mind wander. Sometimes I talk out loud (probably a little odd, but no one is listening, so who cares), but the goal is just to be. Similar to how I meditate, I don’t try to push thoughts away; I welcome the good thoughts and acknowledge the not so good ones. But when those come into the picture, I imagine gently bowing to them so as to move on.

Sometimes letting your mind wander is seen as a bad thing, especially if you are stressed or feeling down. But this is an opportunity for me to be introspective and see what it is my heart and mind want to go to. In the end, I usually end up feeling very grateful, excited to start my day, hopeful for the short and long term, or just content and happy. So I have a reason to be away from my devices and end up giving myself some “me” time before starting a day filled with work and responsibilities.

While there are other things I do to fill my time in the morning, such as writing in my journal, doing a quick flow or stretching, or reading if I am not too tired, having that cup of coffee with no distractions is one I wanted to try and have had much success with so far.

You can say that you want to achieve something all you want, but unless you figure out a way to practice what you preach, you may find yourself falling short on your goals.

I would love to hear if anyone else has things they like to do to “unplug” during their day and/or ideas to try! Have a great Wednesday! (I hate Wednesdays but I am tapping into my eternal optimist side) haha.

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