This was supposed to be a post extolling the virtues of the new Ignite WiFi Hub from Rogers and how it’s helping me get my teens in line. I was ready to throw my kids under the bus and talk about how much time they spend online. I had my righteous indignation locked and loaded people. Fear me child, for I shall smite thee with all the motherly judgement I can muster.
Aaaaand then I had a closer look at my internet usage. Derp. Internet abuser, heal thyself.
So, instead this is the totally true story of how I’m going to rein in my internet overuse before I move forward with the smiting of my offspring (more on that later). But first, one must learn before they can teach.
The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem
I make my living online and as such it’s reasonable to expect that I would spend a minimum of 40 hours a week online, either on my phone or my computer. I’m a chronic over sharer, telling the world my problems here, boring them to death with IG stories over here, and creating content for my radio show. Being online is what I do except that when I’m online the distraction often leads me to We Rate Dogs, watching cat videos, meme addiction, and oh my god you guys, Tinder (more on that later).
Having self-control is hard when you work online, throw in cute puppies and cute guys and it’s almost impossible to stay focused. The reality though is I need focus, lots of it as it happens, because I have some exciting goals on the horizon.
With these exciting changes comes the realization that I don’t have time for cute guys or cute dogs. So before I ask my daughters to self-assess their own internet usage, I’m putting myself through the ropes first. Here’s how I’m doing it.
My Phone and My Computer Are On a Break
I can’t tell you how many times I am sitting on my computer and I reach over to pick up my phone. Oh wait, yes I can, because there is ZERO reason to be ignorant in your internet usage these days. My trusty iPhone tells me that I picked up my iPhone on average 120 times a day last week. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY TIMES A DAY! I’m disgusted in myself, but before you throw stones, go check your own glass house people.
Needless to say, the first step is establishing a clear divide between the two. So officially, my phone and computer are on a break. They are no longer allowed in the same room at the same time. Same goes for my laptop and the TV, or my phone and the TV. One device at a time.
Sidenote: The sound has always been off on my phone. I hate how phones have trained us to respond at every ding, bing, and buzz. I am not a seal.
I honestly thought I had all my notifications off on my phone but in the last seven days, I received around 40 a day. That’s 40 times a day my attention was pulled elsewhere with text messages and other non-important reminders.
I’ve now shut off ALL notifications as of today, except for Google Calendar because without it, I will never remember a thing. It’s too early to expect miracles people.
I’ve Put Myself in a Time Out, Literally
After my initial shock wore off with how much time I wasting online, I got down to business with my Rogers Ignite Wi-fi Hub and put myself in an immediate time out.
I see you rolling your eyes. When my wi-fi is off, I still have access to my Rogers LTE, right? Do you not think a professional internet waster hasn’t already thought of this? Of course I have. This is where the time management on my iPhone comes in.
In my settings I have shut off my data from 10pm to 8am to be in line with the times I set in my Rogers Ignite Wi-fi Hub.
I typically go to bed at 11pm, so I’ve deliberately chosen 10pm to shut down access to my phone so that I spend an hour before bed unwinding. FACT: I am the world’s worst sleeper so I’m going to start with the obvious and admit that perhaps Googling “the god particle” isn’t the smartest idea before bed.
I wake around 5:30am every morning, which means I will have two and half hours without access to the internet every day. I use my phone for so much and despite the advice of others to just leave it out of the bedroom, I simply can not do it. After all, I need to know the time in the morning, I need my music in the morning to motivate me. Now that I can control the other noise, I can still have my phone for its other less mentally invasive purposes.
There’s An App for That
Imagine, we now have apps to control our apps. That is how far we’ve come and I have to tell you, I am here for it!
The internet isn’t going anywhere and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s opened up a whole career for me. From humble beginnings as a online school supply company to world traveler, I freaking love the opportunities the internet has afforded me.
As the last generation to remember what life was like before the internet though, I have a responsibility to pass that knowledge on. Balance in all things friends. So here we go, as a Rogers Ambassador I’m willing to humble and embarrass myself to bring you the goods. Follow me on Instagram for stories and I’ll be back here with a full report in two weeks.