Hello, my name is Brian and I’m an addict, a technology addict. There isn’t a minute of the day that I’m not far from my computer, my cell phone, the television, or my iPod. I still get plenty done around the house, but it’s not without the occasional interruption to look at my Twitter feed, browse Facebook, or check my blog. It’s become second nature to me to do and I hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten.
It’s hard to recognize how addicted to something you are until you have to go for any length of time without it, and that’s exactly what happened. Yesterday my wife dared me to go a day without any electronics at all. She didn’t think I could do it, but I’m just stubborn enough that I took her up on the challenge.
I left my iPod in the bedroom (I’d fallen asleep listening to it), put to the cell phone on the fireplace mantle, didn’t turn on the TV, and made a conscious decision to ignore the computer.
Turns out it was a real struggle for me. On more than one occasion the boys did something adorable and I found myself looking around for the cell so that I could tweet about it, or dash over to the computer so I could jot down a few quick notes for a future blog post. Even though I hadn’t touched the computer all day, it still chimed every few minutes when there was a new post on my Facebook feed. I’m proud to say I was strong, and I fought back the urges to give in. My devices stayed ignored, my email unanswered, my tweets unchecked, and my feeds unread. Sure, it helped that Kat was there and would know if I cheated, but I was too stubborn admit defeat anyway.
The day was a success. I hate to admit it, but my wife was right. I did get more done being “unplugged” than when I was distracted by all my electronics. The boys also had a lot more fun knowing that they had their Dad’s undivided attention. The only downside of this challenge is that now I can’t help having a twinge of guilt whenever I am on this computer or checking my cell phone. I suppose that was the whole point of this experiment, recognizing my addiction for what it is and being more aware of how I’m spending my time.
I may still be hooked on electronics, but I’ll try to learn from this and limit my time spent online. There are much more important things to interact with around here anyways. Their names are “Zack” & “Josh”.