Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Technology Detox for my life

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 (:
Parasailing in Bohol, Philippines
Me and my boyfriend parasailing in Bohol, Philippines
However, throughout our 1.5 years relationship, we have had fights and problems that arouse constantly because of technology and social media. We always try to disconnect ourselves during our dates/ travels, but the problem is, whenever we get back home/ hotels during our trips with WIFI available, we would immediately be pulled back into the internet world. It saddens me sometimes to see that both of us would rather be scrolling down on our phones reading/ watching things that do not really matter, instead of spending precious time with each other. We tried to limit our "WIFI time" to only 10 minutes but it would often end up lasting longer than 10 minutes.

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.
Crow and Crane Pose Beach Yoga in Hong Kong

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:
Workdays
1. 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 & Holidays
1. 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 Days
1. 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
Sunset in Bohol, Philippines
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!

Emi xx
@stayfitandtravel

4 comments:

  1. What a true and inspiring post you have here. Nowadays, people communicate through social media more than talking to one another in the face. I guess it is something most of us need to work on, reorganise and focus on the right people/things. Instead of scrolling feeds that is not exactly important. I feel the need for me to cut off more social media during the times I have with my family/friends and not be hooked like a phone addict, or updating status on Facebook for the people "to know". Thank you for giving me this wake up call and definitely one of the MUST DO for the brand new year! :)

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    1. Thank you girl (: I agree with you very much. it is really difficult to find a balance sometimes but I am glad that we both realize this is something that we want to start working on - it is defs the first step towards the right track!!x

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