brain health, Cooking, Internet, Life, moving, renovations, social media, Time-suck, Unsubscribe
Wait! Don’t let the word diet frighten you off. This isn’t about that kind of diet. I’ve already been down that road plenty — most of my life, in fact — and I’m not taking that path again. No, this is about something quite different; it’s about the dreaded time-suck known as the internet.
I know I need to wean myself off of it before I have to have my iPad surgically removed, but it isn’t that easy for me. I did make a small gesture in the right direction today: I received a book in the post that I ordered a couple weeks ago … a cookbook. An actual book that wasn’t on my Kindle or iPad. I read it cover to cover this evening. Without referring to my iPad or computer once. (Mild withdrawal symptoms) The book is Ina Garten’s, “Make It Ahead.”
It isn’t that I have such a whirlwind social life that I have to plan meals I can make ahead for all the dinner parties I’m throwing (which is no doubt the case for Ina). For me it’s about gearing up (mentally) and preparing for opening a little cafe, along with my art gallery. Not that either of those things are likely to happen before, say…August. Hopefully August 2016. I’m still two or three months (at least) from being able to move into my house. ‘But wait,’ I hear you say. ‘Didn’t you start building that a year or so ago?’ Actually, construction started eighteen months ago, but who’s counting? Never mind. Don’t get me started on that…
This article is about what I’ve been doing in the meantime. Bugger-all, actually, given most of my ‘activity’ has been limited to moving around, pillar to post, essentially living like a gypsy. Without the fandango.
Over time, I’ve become more and more attached to my trusty little iPad. Okay, I’ve become addicted to it. In the nicest possible way, of course. Except that it has played conveniently into the hands of my Avoidance Behaviour Expert alter ego.
Back in the day, when I had a life, I was never interested in any of the social media stuff — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest — you know them all. I liked blogging, but didn’t bother with the rest of it. Well, friends, things have changed. I wish I could report that I had been developing a massive contact list, to boost my online presence in case I decide to publish a book, or something. No, I just have a handful of friends and family I like to keep track of. And a rather daunting number of “contacts” who mostly want to sell me things.
I have discovered the joys (and perils) of Pinterest. Now there’s a time-suck if there ever was one! A very useful time-suck, I have to say. And, of course, there are the online auctions, which are a time-suck and a money-suck. But we won’t go there right now…
I’ve decided I have to reclaim the hours and hours a day that I’m losing to the Internet. Mind you, I’ve never been so well-informed about so many things, but it’s not like I’m going to remember much of it anyway. I shall have to unsubscribe to so many sites … But the ones that will actually remove me from their mailing lists will be the interesting, informative ones. Those who want to sell me something, or ask for money, simply ignore my unsubscribe clicks. I shall have to block them, I suppose.
I’m telling you, folks, it takes hours to check emails, and Facebook. Not to mention reading the newspapers. All the time I spend deleting, more are coming in. I would quit cold-turkey, except there are important things buried amongst it all. I need to know what is being said on Mother Jones. And Grist, and Huffpost, and NYT… and Bored Panda is a hoot. And what about those hilarious cats! Woe is me.
Anyway, I suppose some of you have similar issues (unless, of course, you have a life). I welcome any tips you may have. It really is time for me to take control. I might even start tomorrow. MM
I have a twitter account that I rarely go to – you can’t keep up. I hardly follow anyone and you walk away for 10 minutes and there’s 70 new tweets! And I like to write – but I can’t just talk crap – so I can never think of what to say on twitter – like for the hell of it.
And Facebook is excellent for keeping in touch with friends and family – around the world and the country (because Australia is big) – but I’m being driven crazy by crap that keeps turning up. Adverts and people checking into places and stupid pictures.
If you’re sitting down to work on the computer – or write – you have to be so tough to not get sucked in, that’s for sure! So good luck with the ‘diet’! 😀
Ah self-discipline! Why do we engage with Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest ? Just because we can doesn’t mean we should, does it? Much of life is like that now, the immediate o’er the reflective. As you say ” I’ve never been so well-informed about so many things, but it’s not like I’m going to remember much of it anyway”. Are we becoming shallow as a puddle after summer rain, and as ephemeral?. Who knows? For me I care not.
Know the problem only too well. But what you didn’t mention is the guilt attached to not liking or commenting on the sites of every single blogger you follow. I’m slowly weaning myself away from that, but it’s difficult. It’s like when my mother used to insist I wrote thank you letters to everyone who sent me birthday or Christmas presents only much worse. Apart from Facebook I’ve shied away from other forms of social media, otherwise I’d never have time to write, cook and wash for the family, do the odd bit of work, or anything else. And when I’ve been away and unable to log on as frequently there’s the backlog of thousands of emails to wade through. Yes there are plusses, but definitely minuses too.
I have to strictly limit my time answering emails, most of which are notifications of blogs/ezines I follow, to half hour blocks otherwise no writing gets done until I’m too brain-tired to think clearly. Oh for a spare brain … or three. 😀
Seeing Clarely said:
Ha! You don’t really expect any help on this venue, do you?!
Gary Ross said:
gmail helps a little with the mail.
The Meandering Matriarch said:
The real problem is my own lack of self-discipline, I fear…