September 3, 2011

Time's up

The year is two-thirds over. Incredible. I can't believe it is already September. The time has flown by, but this year I can mark it off in 30 day increments. There are eight resolutions in the can, and I am three days into resolution number nine. I am planning to live less online for the month of September. It seems a little silly to make this decloration on an online blog, but there you go.

I am not raging against technology, and have no desire to go back to 'the good old days'. And although my memory is deteriorating, I am not shunning the Internet because of how the Google effect is rewiring my brain.  I am just wasting time that should be better spent.

I find myself surfing the web far too much these days.  After reading email and blogs, I follow link after link to articles, stories and videos, or spend time dithering on Facebook. Some of the stuff I read is valuable, but it is such a time suck! One link leads to another, and then another, and then hours disappear with little to show for it.

I even have the computer on as I watch tv, attempting to remain 'productive' as I relax. Our brains do not multi-task well, so I shouldn't be dividing my time between two screens. I am giving a fraction of my attention to the things I try to juggle, so nothing is done well.

Giving it up entirely is not terribly realistic. Too much of the world has moved online. And again the Internet is not the problem, just how I am using it. September's resolution will be to be online for only 30 minutes a day, probably split into two 15 minute chunks. I will prioritize emails from people I know, and the newsletters filled with links will likely be ignored. Blogs will also be a priority, as they are a connection to people and some fine writing, but Facebook will be ignored unless there are a few minutes left before the timer goes off. Unless it is for legitimate research, no getting online outside of the 30 minutes.

I have already unsubscribed to many of the emails and newsletters that fill up my inbox, and I will clean up the Facebook feed to get rid of the clutter that isn't keeping me in contact with my actual friends. As with all of these 30 day resolutions, I want to keep the benefits I discover as a part of my life after the month is over. October 1st, I want to have eliminated distractions and time wasters.

When I gave up tv for a month, I found a bunch of time already at my disposal. By limiting my time online, I hope to find even more time to spend doing the important things. I want to be able to say at the end of each day that I made time for the people I love, the writing I enjoy, and the reading that expands my horizons. To stop staring at so many screens, and pay attention to all the wonder of the world around me.


tami said...

Best of luck.

matt said...

Nice one! BTW, there is this video you really should see . . . .