Since my last post where I mentioned that I was going to go on a self-imposed unwiring challenge a.k.a. cyber detox diet, I have been continuing my battle with my social media and Internet addictions.
In November 2013, I felt as if my need to attend to virtual responsibilities had overtaken my desires to attend to the daily realities of my life, my children and home.
I was spending far too much time
online in the name of personal growth, homeschool research, maintaining
relationships, building networks and what-not compared to just living the life
I was escaping the mundane and the undesirable portions of my life ( a large portion had to do with maintaining a decent home. I rather google and ogle at immaculate Martha Stewart and Apartment Therapy homes than get off my bum to sweep.
Then I was that Mumster who shrieked at her kids for asking her for help to fix a Lego toy all because I was trying to post my comment on someone’s FB status.
I cannot say I have finally broken free of my self-indulgent affair with the virtual world, but as my other self-help book I am reading terms it, I am making ‘imperfect progress’.
And imperfect progress is still progress, yes?
And we ought to celebrate every little
I didn’t faithfully stick with my 14 day Unwiring challenge. But instead those 14 days have stretched out to 40 days it seems, but I sure hope I don’t need 40 years to get out this destructive desert.
Now, while I may not have a completed challenge to boast of, I am pretty pleased that I still did manage to do key unwiring challenges such as:
1. Intentionally schedule personal meet-ups with friends. I had several one-on-one dates with girlfriends, playdates, group meet-ups with longtime friends I haven’t seen in a while, and of course, trying to revive individual dates with my husband and boys. We also hosted two Christmas parties.
2. Find accountability partners (all three whom I still keep in touch with and give an account to them of how I am doing)
3. Wrote down my desires for how I want my children to remember me 15 years on ( and as you can rightly guess, none of that includes a mom who spends more time obsessing about a screen than her children’s toenails)
4. Reducing my aimless cyber-wanderings per day ( calculated by a total monthly hours / 30 days, that is. I still fail miserably and fritter away hours in a single night. Not proud. But let me focus on the little victories, eh?)
5. Listing down the things I need to get done on the computer before I switch it on. And refraining from opening my Facebook and email when I need to work. This helps to greatly reduce distractions. I am ADD. I AM HIGHLY DISTRACTABLE! And sometimes I lie to myself with the ‘this is my research!’ excuse.
I still haven’t made this a habit yet so I need to continue intentionally remind self to do so.
But those times I mistrust myself enough to write down the laundry list, I am really much more effective and disciplined in my Internet usage.
When rehabilitating self, it pays to NOT trust self.
6. Restrict handheld gadgets to scheduled times of day. I tried to limit myself to when kids are napping or sleeping. But I struggled a lot with this. So what I ended up doing was to leave my iPhone at home when I took them
out for playground or sports time.
7. Selective use of iPhone: only calls, IRIS bus checker and emails ( forgot passwords to some so cannot access from laptop). But now with my laptop infected with some malware I am trying to fix, it looks like I am going to need even more boundaries set up to prevent myself from lapsing back to my bad habits of constantly having iBalls instead of using my natural eyeballs. And yes, I am currently blogging from
I need to not just make a list of things I need to use my iPhone before I pick it up: I likely need the next tactic.
8. Control usage with a timer. As one who has burned multiple dinners and pots because of my indiscriminate Internet usage, I cannot overemphasise
the absolute importance of using a timer.
Now, my timer is going off on me.
As I ought to respect the boundaries I am setting up to protect myself and my loved ones, I am finishing off here.
Before I do, I wonder if you would share any tips on how you prevent gadgets and anything virtual from intruding and overshadowing your real life?
If you have yourself broken free of a similar social media or Internet addiction, please do share how you achieved victory.
I so do need the encouragement.