What is lacking in our real world that makes the digital world so attractive?
There is nothing like having the sum of all human knowledge just a few thumb presses away. Quickly tapping the phone screen to look up any imagined subject. What power!
Yet this power is an easy trap.
We see so many digital distractions now in our day to day lives that we miss out on things happening in our real lives.
We’ve all seen the family at the restaurant, each staring at a phone or a tablet. We’ve seen coworkers getting together for a beer and more than half the group is doing something with their phones.
Or even more serious, the huge increase in traffic accidents due to people texting and emailing while driving.
A friend of mine was just in a horrific car accident, one which left him hospitalized and one which took the life of his lovely wife. When I hear of such things, I instantly think of a distracted driver running into my friend’s car. (I don’t even know the details yet but it’s the first thing imagined).
In an effort to curb my online activities, I’ve deleted the Twitter app off my phone. Am I getting off Twitter? Oh heck no. I love it. But I am taking back some control against what I call impulse drive-by tweets.
If I want to get on Twitter, I will need to go sit at my iMac to make that happen. Twitter will now be a planned use of time. It’s only been a day. I an interested to see the results.
I do know this will help me stay focused on whatever task is at hand. I had already successfully turned off notifications on my phone. That was a huge improvement.
What can I do in the real world if I take back an hour a day? (Who am I trying to fool? On some days, it was more like 3 hours of Social Media consumption.)
At any given time, we are either consuming, creating or resting. I choose creation.
Creating time to think for myself. Time to spend with my girl. Time to complete a project here at the house. Time to fish with my son. Time to write. Time on the phone talking to some man who needs my help.
These are things that matter. Real things. Important things.
What am I losing? Watching grown men bicker? Watching anon accounts try to destroy good men? I refuse to be a part of it.
I’m not trying to claim some moral high ground. What I am saying is that I can do more to improve myself, my family, my friends and my communities (even my on-line communities) if I harness all my energy and control my time wasters.
With the upcoming election cycle, the electronic noise is only going to increase. I will be on my guard.
My real life does not suck. I will spend as much time as possible cultivating that which is real and meaningful.
Jettison the trash. Tune out the noise. Live the one life you have.
Time is a dwindling resource.