Ha, no, not one of those lose-your-Christmas-fat diets. I’m on a technology diet. Specifically: I have deleted every game on my cell phone. Even the ones I paid for. Many are also deleted from the library on Google play so I don’t even see what I used to have installed.
It started last week when I was home sick with a feverish head cold. I was lying in bed playing games on my cell phone, forcing myself to ignore how much that made my neck hurt. The ridiculousness of that made me realize how many destructive habits I have with technology.
I have spent so many hours in front of the TV or listening to something with my cell phone in my hand, playing games over and over. To the point that my cell phone is plugged in all the time. To the point that my shoulders and neck constantly ache. To the point that I could feel my hand going numb from the repetitive motion.
I have sat for hours at my kitchen table surfing entertainment websites and forums, not necessarily indulging in commenting, but indulging in the voyeurism that sites with lots of content and comments encourage.
I had to ask myself what the hell I was doing! Such time wasters! For what? Sure, it was fun mastering that one game and racking up the points, but other than that? What for? And yes, I found a bit of community on one web site, but no real connection. And is it worth hours of sitting still?
Is it worth my dirty home? Because yes, my home is dirty.
I realized that this may be an addiction. No, it is an addiction. It has kept me from doing productive things. It is neglecting my home. It is harming my health. It has interfered with my sleep. It’s an addiction, all right. So congratulations: You are the person I am admitting my addiction to. (Thank you.)
So I deleted the bookmarks on my computer and I deleted every single game, even the ones I didn’t play often. My goal was to not have my cell phone in my hand constantly. My goal was to not be stuck in one position for hours. And to not continue to stay even with my neck straining, shoulders hunching, wrist protesting.
A few games I felt sad about deleting. My consolation for those is that I also have them on the big computer that does not let me comfortably slouch with bad posture for extended periods of time, so not so motivated to waste hours there.
Next challenge: What to do with that time now? Well, I like having something to occupy my hands while watching television so I play solitaire with actual cards and will also hopefully get back into knitting. But I can’t do that for an entire afternoon, so not as much TV-watching.
And I have to address that dirty home thing. I’ve used systems like FlyLady before and it has helped some. This time I knew I had to come up with my own daily routines. For example, I don’t need nor want to do anything in the morning besides get ready for work, nor do I need to do laundry every day. My task for this week is, “Figure out what is YOUR daily routine—not FlyLady’s. Look around and see what needs to be done every day.”
So far I’ve got “Put things away” and “Clean the dirt of the day” in addition to any dishes that need washing or put away. There’s a lot in those two daily tasks: Things going to their proper place can mean anything, from shopping to a book; today’s was putting the recycling “away” in the recycling bin. “Clean the dirt of the day” is my reminder to wipe down sinks, catch any spots, and wipe off surfaces used during the day, including my own face. The tasks are “roomy” because my days don’t run on clockwork; I don’t do the exact same thing every day so the exact same thing doesn’t have to happen every day. What will (and has) happened is a reminder to look around and catch something that needs putting away or cleaned up.
I’ve been at the computer more, cleaning up files, reading more news, more blogs—and staring at the “Write”-button on my WordPress dashboard. It has frustrated me that I’ve had no inspiration. Until now.
I deleted the games on January 25th. It is now January 29th. I sometimes think, “maybe just one round”, but that makes me sound like an addict, so I tell myself “no” and to stick it out for a month. Break the habit.
I do feel better. I feel more energized, more focused, more—useful to myself.
And now I’m writing.