What I Learned From Failing 7 Day Technology Detox
Fear. Apprehension. Noooooo! Runaway, runaway!
Those feelings took over my senses when I first heard Amanda issue the 7 Day Technology Detox. My first thought was, “Absolutely not! In no way, not even under conditions of torture.” (And, of course, the scene from Monty Python with the knights running away!)
Then, my mental health therapist side kicked in. I stepped back and considered my reaction. Wow, pretty intense. A tad over the top. Some may even say extreme. I had to ask myself (in my therapist voice), “Is a technology detox exactly what I need in my life?”
The answer came as a surprise to me. I (mistakenly) thought that I was in control of my social media usage. Prior to starting life as a blogger last summer, I had been on a major social media break. One year off all social media except Pinterest (a girl has got to pin!)
When I made the decision to start a homeschool blog, I had no idea that blogging entailed a number of social media platforms. I thought that it would not be a problem. I could pursue my blogging dreams and maintain reasonable control over my Facebook and Twitter time.
Over time, I did not see how much technology had crept into my life. In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, I started using Periscope and Google Plus. After a bit of resistance, I joined Instagram. My weekday Periscope broadcast, Rock Your Homeschool!, is my absolute favorite but adds to my tech time usage.
At the mere mention of a technology detox, I cringed. and started to sweat. I almost gnashed my teeth and tore at my hair. What would I do without my Periscope peeps? How could I stay in touch with friends if I wasn’t using Facebook?
These feelings of utter panic were a sign that technology was indeed an issue for me. Such strong reactions were like a slap in the face and prompted me to participate in the technology detox challenge (before I changed my mind and hid in fear).
I must say that I have a huge sigh of relief when I read Amanda’s “rules” for her technology detox. I greatly appreciated how she designed the detox to be customizable. Sweet Amanda recognizes that we all lead different lives and have different needs. She set broad guidelines for followers to then specify how the detox could work best for them.
Technology Detox: Day 1
I used day 1 to define what technology meant to me. I recorded my thoughts in my bullet journal (I call him Silver Bullet).
In addition to my definition, I set boundaries. I knew that I would need my cell phone for its original use-a telephone! We got rid of our landline a while back to cut back on bills. My cell phone is our main line and I must have access in case of emergency.
Also, I own a homeschool blog and co-own a planner blog. I felt that my obligations to both sites must be fulfilled.
I knew that I would continue my Rock Your Homeschool! Periscope broadcast as well. I decided to keep my Periscope app on my phone throughout duration.
Amanda had set her technology time limit to six hours and that seemed doable. I added that to my journal.
I generated a list of potential activities to do in stead of technology time. I mostly used the first two ideas-playing and reading more with the boys.
Technology Detox: Day 2
This step was rather simple for me. I have heard too many horror stories of phones falling into sinks or toilets. I try to keep my cell phone out of the bathroom as much as possible.
Technology Detox: Day 3
So, this was the first day that I failed. I kept Periscope and Voxer on my cell phone. Voxer is a walkie-talkie like app that I use to communicate with friends and co-owner of planner site. I had a few friends going through some rough patches and I wanted to keep the app to check in on them.
I had no problem deleting Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I did add them all back at once (not as suggested one at a time). I do a lot of my blogging social media work when putting little boys to sleep and laying in bed with them. It creates more time with them during the day (and I don’t fall asleep!)
Technology Detox: Day 4
This day posed a problem for me. I do not have a “real” camera that works. I went with Amanda’s next idea-create a memory.
Smiley (7) and Bear (5) wanted to make stuffed animal pillows. I do not sew (in fact, I believe that I am allergic to it but that is a long story!). We went out and bought flannel and stuffing. With my help, the boys created tie-pillows and were thrilled with their new buddies. Smiley and Bear said it was a day that they would never forget. Check!
Technology Detox: Day 5
My favorite part of this detox! Call someone you were thinking about texting. I do not like to admit it but texting has definitely replaced a majority of phone calls in my life. With five boys and a dog running around this house, texting is simpler, faster, and quieter!
I called my friend and co-owner of planner site to chat. We talked a bit about business and then shot the breeze. I usually text or vox her so it was indeed a pleasant change.
Technology Detox: Day 6
I failed to go “cold turkey” during my detox. I got a late start to my attempt on this step. My family was heading to the mountains where we typically have no wi-fi.
When we arrived, I still had wi-fi! I usually have to wait until we are home to send pictures and updates. I caved and used my phone to take pictures and send messages to family and friends. I had limited reception so could not do much.
Technology Detox: Day 7
I wrote in my bullet journal throughout my experience. I jotted down notes and doodles to remind myself of my thoughts and feelings. I found the experience to be an eye-opener and helpful in generating steps to control my technology usage.
Lessons I Learned From Failing Technology Detox
- I love Voxer-a bit too much! I vox a lot. I will be reducing the amount of time I spend on Voxer during the day.
- Periscope is my friend-in moderation! Scoping is fantastic for interacting and sharing with others. I will continue to limit how many scopes and replays that I watch.
- Social media schedulers like Tailwind and Post Planner rock for helping me manage technology time. I had no need to visit Pinterest and Facebook because I had taken a bit of time the weekend before to schedule out pins and posts.
- Block scheduling for blog and computer work is key. No more little bits here and there!
- I want to get back into the habit of calling family and friends. Also, I want to resume sending cards and letters.
Although I did not perfectly execute the technology detox, I gained a tremendous amount of self-knowledge. I recognized that I can survive (and thrive!) without checking my social media apps every hour or two. Most importantly, I noticed how much time I could gain in my personal life by limiting use of technology.
Do you feel like the technology detox could rock your world-in a good way?