If I am being completely honest, the Internet is one of my biggest enemies when it comes to getting homework done. There are literally endless distractions right at your fingertips the moment you open up that first web browser. Pretty soon, you start clicking around and before you know it, one thing just leads to another.
I like to think that I try to be mindful about my use of technology and the Internet. I think that I do an okay job of not spending excess time consumed with it, due in part to the fact that my daily schedule just does’t allot time for it. However, this certainly does not mean that I don’t occasionally find myself spending time passively scrolling through my social media feeds and surfing the web.
I have personally seen first-hand the effects that technology can have on our lives; both good and bad. One of my favorite features of the iPhone, is the ability to FaceTime with any other person who also has an iPhone. This comes in extremely handy when I want to talk to my sister who lives 15 hours away, my best friend from high school who lives 17 hours away, or any of my other family members who are a shorter 7 hours away. Without FaceTime, I would have to go months on end without seeing the faces of my loved ones. For this reason among others, I am thankful for technology.
On the flip side, I have also seen technology have a not so great impact on my life when it comes to my close relationships. I can 100% relate to trying to have a conversation with someone and feeling like they were more interested in their phone or computer than talking to an actual person. As stated in Huffington Post‘s “Why You Feel Terrible After Spending Too Much Time of Facebook”, technology has become a ‘habitual dependency’. Sometimes it seems like we can’t live without it.
As I was doing my research, I read through the article about simplifying your online world. I would agree that this is something we should all look into. Often times, when I am walking around campus, I can go several minutes without making eye contact with anyone, because everyone is stuck in their own little world. When we consciously make the decision to not be glued to our devices like robots, only then will we truly be present. I really do feel that we miss out on some of what is important in life when we are permanently tethered to our devices. There are so many wonderful opportunities around us when we take a second to look up from our phones.
I have downloaded the Moment App and have started to track my phone usage. However, I do not have much information yet at this point since I only downloaded it earlier yesterday. I’m not sure that having this app on my phone will make too much of a difference in what or how much of my phone I use on a daily basis, but I am willing to give it a try. Even though my actions may not change too much, it may help me to be more mindful about what I am doing with my free time.
The Internet is a wonderful tool when we can use it to get in touch with family and friends who live far away. We just need to be conscious about how we spend our time on it otherwise. I feel that it is crucial to be able to make your life outside of your technological devices a priority. Get outside, see the world, make connections, and have a conversation (without a phone acting as the middle man). When we make an effort to do this, I think we will feel the same sensation of ‘freedom’ that Paul Miller spoke of in his TED Talk.