Check text messages.
Get out of bed.
Repeat 10 minutes later (minus getting out of bed), and 34 more times throughout your day.
Are you too connected?
I Thought being "Connected" was a Good Thing?
Add this to my iPhone, iPod, and laptop...who needs human interaction?
Look around you though. I'm willing to bet the majority of people you see are either using their cell phone, tablet, or laptop, or holding one of them in their hand. I'm also willing to bet you are just as guilty of spending too much time "connecting" with others via technology. I say this because I'm as guilty as they come. Is this type of "connected" good?
I don't think so.
I just finished reading the book, "The Power of Less" by Leo Babauta. If you haven't yet read the book, I definitely recommend it. Especially if you find yourself trying to juggle a million things at once.
(the following is from the book's website)
Do Less. Get More Done.
"With the countless distractions that come from every corner of modern life, it’s amazing that we’re ever able to accomplish anything. The Power of Less demonstrates how to streamline your life by identifying the essential and eliminating the unnecessary - freeing you from everyday clutter and allowing you to focus on accomplishing the goals that can change your life for the better."
In addition to giving some rationale as to why "less is more," this book gives practical advice into how to reduce many of the unnecessary things in our lives. One of which is having to be connected too much.
After sitting down and taking inventory of how I spend my days, I realized I was stressing out over things that were indirectly caused by being "too connected;" social media, checking emails, reading blogs, writing blogs, texting, the list goes on! My office mate even tweeted a photo of me hunched over my iPad while he was trying to have a conversation with me.
That should never happen.
What's Wrong With Being Connected 24/7?
"I just pretend I'm on my phone so I don't have to interact with the cashier at the grocery store."
"I pray it goes to voicemail every time I call someone."
"I'm having such an awesome time eating dinner with you, I better tweet about it."
Hopefully none of those sound familiar to you. BUT if they do, then it's time to make a change.
Being connected 24/7, especially through social media, can make us less connected when it comes to face-to-face interaction. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, a recent study found that on average, people check their phones 34 times per day. 34 times per day! Often within 10 minutes of one another!
It's been shown that multitasking isn't always a good thing. How do you expect to have meaningful conversations if you're constantly worried about checking your phone for an email, text message, or tweet?
Rather than enjoying dinner with friends or family, we're constantly connecting with others to tell them what we're doing. Is this necessary? No way. But we continue to insist on doing it.
My journey to become less connected
Don't get me wrong! I think Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. are awesome...but only in moderation.
Take note on how often you check your social media sites or browse the Internet aimlessly. I bet it's a lot more than you think. Heck, if you're like me, you get notifications sent directly to your phone. That way, when someone writes on your wall, sends you an email, or tags you in a tweet, you are notified instantly.
Here's the problem- I've found that because of how connected I am, I'm not able to stay in the moment; I'm constantly thinking about checking my email, or what my next blog post is going to be about, or marketing my training programs via Facebook, or thinking of a witty tweet that will get re-tweeted 100x.
"Life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans."
I don't want my life to pass me by as I plan for future events that may never even come. I want to be able to enjoy each moment and not worry about being connected with the world 24/7. I've struggled with this lately, but I am posting online about it now to make my struggle known.
This way, I can be held accountable.
My plan for the next seven days:
-No Facebook. No Twitter. No LinkedIn. Limited email. No blog posts. Limited texting.
These next seven days are the perfect time to disconnect- my last seven days in Lexington. As I prepare to move to FL to begin my doctor of physical therapy studies, disconnecting from the world will help me relax and appreciate the many blessings I have before beginning a new journey.
It will give me a chance to read and interact with others more, and to appreciate each moment as it passes. Everything from reading to eating to showering to brushing my teeth. I hope to slow life down a bit in this process as well because shoot, I'm already 25?!
Once the seven days are over, I will continue my disconnect, but not quite as drastic. I really do enjoy interacting with others via social media, but moving forward, I will do a better job at not letting my "connected-ness" stress me out.
I thrive off of interacting with others, but there needs to be limits. I hope the next week will help me to establish these limits.
Plus, I don't want to end up like this lady.
Take a chance this week and put away the cell phones and computers and engage in meaningful face-to-face conversations.
Disconnect for a few days. See what you find. The worst that could happen is you miss the daily photos of babies, food, and exercise routines on Facebook. I think you could handle that though.
Let's make it happen together.
P.S. The next time you hear from me I will be in the sunshine state for good! Please keep me in your thoughts as I travel!