15 minutes here and there sure adds up

I've taken a bit of an internet hiatus this week.

You see, last week I realized I was overwhelmed. I have a history of this, and it's a path I didn't want to start back up on so I stopped for a bit and took stock of my days.

Where was my time going?

And yes, there was the predictable and accounted for. The grocery shopping. The cooking and baking. The time spent building block towers for the boys to knock over, and reading board books, and changing diapers. And yes, I also realized that I have said yes to far too many activities and responsibilities. I'm working on that.

And then there were the 3.5 hours a day I was spending online. Mostly on Facebook.

I admit this with great, great, shame. And even I, myself, am shocked. And even a bit horrified. THREE AND A HALF HOURS? How does that even happen? Even I didn't at first believe it possible.

But it was, and I will tell you how that happens. 15 minutes at a time. A little time spent upon awakening (I have to check my email after all!), a little time spent at nap (which always turned into a lot of time spent at nap), a little time when Josh got home and I had a bit of a break before starting dinner, and little time before bed (I'm going to bed soon, I promise, just let me finish this blog, said 3 or 4 times).

I was shocked when I added it all up and I realized I have a problem.

Internet addiction.

PROBLEM 1- Blog Overload

I read WAY too many blogs. There were over 60 blogs/online comics/news articles in my reader when I looked.

I cut that number down to 30, at first my goal was 20, but I just couldn't bear to do it. After that I couldn't think of who else to cut. Even at 30 it was an over 50% reduction, after all. And many of the ones I kept are in the friends and family department and almost never update.

Will I miss out on a lot of companionship, inspiration, ideas, beautiful thoughts? Yes. Yes I will. But I'm willing to trade that for a bit of my life back.


The ultimate time-suck.

I pared down Facebook quite a while ago. I all but quit quizzes (I never did play any of those silly games). I also clicked "hide" like a madwoman. I hid every single game. Every daily-scripture-thing and daily-horoscope-thing. Everything except actual wall posts.

But this week I went a step further. I turned off my notifications.

You see, my netbook is almost always on, and it "dings" everytime I get an email. You can imagine how often I was receiving "ding" facebook notifications that someone commented on the wallpost that I previously commented on. And every one of those "dings" was irresistible until I checked what it was.

No more of that. Now I only get notified if someone posts on my wall, or sends me a message.

Will I miss out on some conversations when people reply to things I've also replied to? Yes, yes I will. But again, I get a lot of my life back. And anyways, I can still find it if I want it. Its just not emailed to me.


Like I said, my computer is almost always on. All those irresistible dings. I use IM to keep in touch with my husband throughout the day, I bookmark recipes and patterns, I listen to music on Slacker Radio, I stream sermons and podcasts for my daily bible time. Most of my life is connected in some way.

This makes cutting down on my internet time all but impossible. It is right there. Always. At my fingertips. If I'm jumping on to listen to some music, I might as well quickly check facebook. If I need to grab that pattern for knitting Zeke mittens off of Ravelry, I better see if any new blogs have been posted while I'm already on.

Get what I mean?

So at least until I have my addiction under control I'm going to have set "computer on" times and try to keep it off the rest of the day. "Computer on" times are a half hour in the morning (so much of my social life is planned via email that it would be hard to cut this time completely, but in a half hour I will only really have time to check my email and maybe google some directions). Also as much as I want between 2-4 (aka nap time). Since this time is precious to me, I doubt I will be much drawn to wasting it all online. After Zeke wakes up, it is off for the night.

So yes, that means I'm going to have to burn a few CD's so I can forego Slacker for a while. Also, I'll have to print more often to keep myself from jumping on at dinnertime to check my bookmarked recipe. But I think after a few weeks I will be able to return to these practices.


No comments: