The idea is that I’m supposed to step into this blog space and leave you a nice tidy little post about one thing. And herein lies the problem today. I don’t have one thing. I have too many things. Way too many things.
Yesterday, I attempted to sit down and work at my computer but 45 minutes in, I knew it wasn’t happening. Between Buzzfeed and UpWorthy I lost my morning. Did I snap out of it and say “Get back to work, Candace?”. I tried. I really did, but the suck of that damn Neil Patrick Harris video was just too much. And so it was that I was sitting up at 11:00 pm trying to work but then click, click, click and I’m watching a 90 minute video on YouTube. Related: I’m so juicing soon. Wait for it.
This morning I dug in. No way José. I am not falling down that rabbit hole…..again….for the thousandth time. I have more resolve than this. I come from strong stock. Oooooh, what’s that?
“46% of moms are communicating more thru social media and emailing less often.” This little gem was courtesy of a tweet from a new MomCentral study.
Yes, true I thought. Aside from my four email addresses, I now also need to remember where I had that conversation with that person who told me something really, really important. Was it in one of the twenty-one Facebook groups I’m in? Was it a private message? A direct message? No. That’s not it. Maybe it was on text? The only thing I do know for certain is that it was not in a phone conversation, because those don’t happen anymore.
And then I started to wonder about the mounting evidence that computer use is rewiring our brains. There’s no doubt that mine has been. Years ago it would have taken me maybe 15 minutes to write a handwritten letter to a friend. Now it can, and has taken me all day.
I start with the best of intentions but then I hear a ding from my Facebook page which draws me away mid-word, while on Facebook I’m reminded of something I wanted to Google, which sends me to my blog where I sort of start a post and before you know it, I’m shutting down 45 windows on my computer before bed and the last one is that incomplete email to a friend, to which I can’t remember the reason I was writing in the first place.
The problem is that this becomes a little like the children’s books — “If you give a mom the internet, she’ll check Facebook, which will remind her she hasn’t checked Twitter yet, when she gets to Twitter, she’ll click a link that takes her to Stumbleupon, when there she’ll find the cutest picture of a dog, so she’ll pin it, once on Pinterest she’ll remember there were 548 recipes she wanted to try, give or take a duplicate or two, looking at a recipe she’ll remember she has to feed her family tonight, which will send her back to Facebook where she’ll ask for suggestions in her status update, which will remind her that she’s been on the internet for five hours and has accomplished nothing.”
I couldn’t count the hours I’ve lost watching videos and reading memes, giving a thumbs up and scrolling through Instagram pictures. I have a set amount of tasks before me at the beginning of each day (I am a very proficient to-do list writer) and never does any of that make the list and yet here I am clicking on yet another picture of Hammaconda and wondering what have I turned into. To me, there is no doubt the internet killed my attention span and I want it back damnit!
So that’s it kids, I’m heading into training. I currently have the attention span of a gnat on crack cocaine and things need to be a changin’ round here. I am determined to return to my pre-2000 levels of attention. My plan is simple:
– half hour on the computer, half hour off (very Karate Kid if I do say so myself)
– email shut off and checked only at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 9pm
– no more iPad in bed. A) playing Candy crush does not make you sleepy and B) ummm, I don’t remember what B) was, it’s gone
– only one window open at a time. This also applies to browsers
– texts will only be checked twice daily
– finally, writing first. No check-ins on social media channels until writing is done for the day.
Now excuse me, this post took two days to put together. Time to start my brain detox with a book. One with pages and no backlighting. This is going to be difficult.