I don't know how many of you here are guilty of spending way too much time and being too addicted to social media and technology in your daily life. Well I am. I have always been obsessed with social media since I was a teenager. I am not sure about what was popular in your country back then, but for me who grew up in Hong Kong - MSN, Xanga, Online Chatrooms and etc - I do not even want to think about how much precious time of my youth that I spent on them.
Recent years I began to spend more and more time on facebook and whatsapp, constantly checking my phone and a lot of times just aimlessly scrolling down the newsfeed. Even when I traveled with limited access to internet, my obsession with social media was still obvious - I would jump to every single opportunity that I could find WIFI and I would get into a bad mood when I did not have any for over 24 hours. I remember when I stayed with my Spanish friends in Spain, they would also call me "the Asian girl with her phone".
I remember that when I was single and was going onto different dinner dates, I would always feel the urge to take my phone out during the dinners, wishing I could be checking my facebook/ whatsapp instead, losing myself into the internet world. So one day I told myself - if I finally meet someone that when I am with him, I would not feel the need to check my phone because there's no place I would rather be at - that person will be the one.
Lucky me, at one special dinner, I completely lost myself into the conversation with this special person without feeling even the tiniest need to take out my phone. And this special person is now my boyfriend (:
|Me and my boyfriend parasailing in Bohol, Philippines|
The situation has significantly worsened, largely on my part, ever since I started being very active on Instagram around 4 months ago. It got even worse (if that's even possible) after I launched my blog 1 month ago. My whole life is all about social media. If you have read about my post on my daily schedule (http://stayfitandtravel.blogspot.hk/2014/11/my-daily-schedule-workouts-and-diet.html), you would notice that the first thing I did when I woke up was to check my instagram and blog. Sometimes on weekends I would spend more than 1 hour in bed just on instagram before I got up to brush my teeth and wash my face, and to have a cup of water. Also, what I did not add to my daily schedule post was that, I did not stop checking instagram and other social medias after that 15 minutes time in the morning. I kept on checking my phone constantly for instagram, emails, and also blogging and whatsapping at the same time throughout the whole day - on the bus, on the train, at the gym (during my rest time - even if it's only 1 minute), DURING MY ONE MINUTE PLANK, during my toilet breaks at work, inside the elevator, during lunch, during dinner etc etc etc. Pretty crazy eh?
As a result, I also have not been sleeping well because my brain has been constantly wired with little rest time. From the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed, there was literally barely any downtime for my brain. Stillness, or just sitting down and doing absolutely nothing became something that was so alienated for me. Whenever I saw there's an email in my inbox, or new comments/ questions on my instagram posts, I always felt the need to reply as soon as I could and I could not allow myself to let them wait until the next day. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for all the emails, comments, questions and just a lot of love that you all are giving me through the internet everyday. And I also know that most of you would not mind if I reply just a few hours/ a day later. It was just me with a wrong mindset, giving myself unnecessary pressure to be constantly engaging with the online community.It was then that I realized I needed to do something about my life, to stop wasting a huge part of my life online, and missing out on creating memories with my loved ones. I needed to start living my real life, giving my mind the rest that it needs, and to just have the time to appreciate little things in life. I was also looking for peace and wellness for my mind.
I therefore decided to start a Technology Detox for my life! It requires determination and self-control ( a lot of them) but I know it will be worth it. It has been quite a few days already and guess what? I feel AAAAH-MAZEEE-ZING! I am having a few nights of the best sleeps that I had had in a long time, and as a whole, I just feel a lot more free. I no longer feel the need to have to be constantly check my phone. I realized that the less I am on social media, the less I need it. I finally found the stillness and peace that I was so desperately looking for.
Here is the list of boundaries that I set for my Technology Detox:
Workdays1. No checking the phone until I leave home so I can save time by focusing on getting my breakfast ready, freshening up, changing, packing - and just giving some time for my mind to wake up, think about the day ahead.
2. Make 2-3 instagram posts and 1 blog post per day (Maximum).
3. Read my book during transportation time between home and office. No phone allowed out of my bag (except if I need to make emergency call haha)
4. Phone switched off by 8:30 pm - leaving the 2-3 hours before bedtime tech-free, giving my mind rest time.
Weekends & Holidays1. No checking the phone within the first hour that I wake up so I will have the time to play with my dog/ make some breakfast/ morning yoga/ morning conversation with parents/ just allow my mind to rest and chill.
2. Only two times a day for checking and replying to emails/ comments/ questions as well as posting - once in the morning and once after dinner, with most of the day be as tech-free as possible.
All Days1. No phones in the bedroom
2. No checking the phone during my workouts (can be such a waste of time)
3. No checking the phone during any meals
I genuinely hope that this technology detox with not just be a temporary phase but something that will last for a long time. Hopefully you will find this post useful to your life as well. Please let me know if you have other good advice/ tips for me to add into my list of boundaries for the technology detox!