My name is Sarah and I am addicted to technology.
It all started out so innocently
I traded in my Blackberry for an IPhone and suddenly a whole new world opened up. I no longer needed my computer or an Ipad or even the tv.
We constantly tell our kids to get off their Ipads or stop watching tv and to go outside and play while sitting on the couch staring at our phones barely making eye contact. The lack of eye contact on our part is probably for the best since our twelve year old gives a mean death glare that I want no part of.
Of course the kids called us on our hypocrisy, but we always said we needed our phones or computers for work purposes. I would say this of course while hiding the screen from them because I was playing Candy Crush.
Last week Callum got caught with my old IPhone at school. It doesn’t have any service but he can still play games on it or surf the web if he has wifi. He snuck it into his back pack and was playing with it while in class. It occurred to me then that he has an addiction. The thought has donned on me before. When we go to gymnastics which is maybe a two minute drive up the street and he throws a fit when I say no to him bringing his Ipad I have definitely thought “wow this kid has problems with technology!” But when you start sneaking it even though you know it’s wrong it is time to take action.
We cut Callum off all technology for a week. He was not at all pleased. No computer, no Ipad, Ipod or IPhone and tv is limited to an hour a day. After I had handed down his punishment I went back to simultaneously watching tv while looking at random people’s pictures on Instagram. That’s when it hit me. I am addicted too.
I’m also having problems with my vision. My eyes hurt all the time and it is getting harder to read things without the words being blurry. I suspect it is from staring at a screen so much.
Full disclosure…This addiction is hurting my marriage. We spend so much time engrossed in whatever is on our screens that we forget to pay attention to each other. At night we lay in bed on our phones either scrolling through social media or texting other people and we can go for an hour or more without saying a single thing to each other. Well maybe Chris talks but I’m distracted and so I don’t respond. We will binge watch old Law and Order episodes which means we can go for hours without speaking. It’s not good. We go out to dinner and our phones are on the table because what if a client calls me or a store needs to get a hold of Chris. It doesn’t occur to us that life will continue if we miss a call or don’t send an email response immediately.
The first thing I do in the morning is reach for my phone and check emails, Facebook and twitter. From there I go downstairs and turn on the Today show so I can listen to the news while I make lunches and have breakfast. The tv stays on most of the day if I am home because I like the noise. I can also spend hours lost on Instagram or reading through tweets about Donald Trump.
I made the decision Tuesday that we are all going tech free for two weeks. I got some angry looks when I brought this up but tough luck kiddos.
Yesterday was the first day since I joined Facebook that I didn’t look at it. I didn’t go on Twitter and I didn’t watch tv. My day was blissfully stress free. I didn’t read any articles that got my blood boiling. I didn’t see anything on Instagram or Facebook that made me feel like my life sucked or that I wasn’t beautiful. No online shopping for stuff I really don’t need and just want. I sat in silence and read a magazine while having my lunch. Usually I watch tv on the couch while I eat. While I cooked I listened to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Before bed I read a book. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t fall asleep with the tv on. It was the most peaceful I have felt in a really long time.
I am still using my phone for communication purposes and of course my computer for work and to check emails. Day two has been going well so far. I still have the compulsion to press on the icons and scroll through social media. I have to remind myself that I’m going cold turkey on this. There is more to my life than what is going on in other people’s lives.
The kids are handling it well for now. Callum actually went to bed okay last night which almost never happens. Maybe it is because his little brain wasn’t overly stimulated.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how our tech free journey pans out. Yes the kids will still be using it at school, that is something that I can not stop, but at home they will for sure be tech free. I plan on keeping a journal of how I feel and how the kids manage for the next two weeks which I will share on the blog.
Wish us luck!