“There’s only one man…who would dare give me the raspberry”

Recently, it appears articles around controlling our technology have been sneaking into my feeds.  Taking this as a clue from some astral body, I decided to give one of the ideas a shot.  To remove almost all of the alerts from my phone and reduce the neural noise of my life.

This isn’t a new idea – When I see someone struggling with their work load at an office, one of my first recommendations is to get rid of the desktop alerts and sounds.  Why? Think about the last time you were working on a project and you heard the “ding” and a little apparition pops up in the bottom corner of your screen.  You probably stopped what you were doing and opened up your email to make sure it was important.

Now think about the last time you were out for dinner with your kids, spouse, or a friend.  Your phone makes a noise and in midsentence you pick it up to glance at it. We are so busy keeping in touch with ALL THE STUFF that we aren’t really here for the STUFF THAT MATTERS.

Now, the last thing I want to do is make people feel guilty about their choices.  For me, I wanted a way to not feel like I was swimming in too much screen.  I found myself realizing that The Teen has one more year of high school, The Warrior is done with his first year of middle school and Little Miss has only one year left of elementary.  WHERE DID MY TIME GO!?

Statistics are telling us we spend a lot of time in front of a screen – whether that’s a phone, tablet, TV, or computer. And some Russian dude is blamed for abusing dogs with bells. Blogs, articles, and news feeds speak to the amount of disconnection happening in our society today.

That’s all well and good but I work with technology, I communicate in my hobbies with technology, and hell, I’m writing this on a Surface Pro 4 with my smartphone sitting next to me, that I used to pay for my triple grande mocha this morning.  We are surrounded by the machines and hopefully T1 Arnold won’t show up anytime soon.

But what do I do about it?  I want to feel connected with my children, I want to be part of my friends’ lives when they share a story.  So I figured, why not give it a try – turn off the noise.

And in these past few days the civilization has not ended, no one has needed me so badly that they died, and the world keeps spinning.  What has changed?

I now check Facebook when I want to.

I now set aside time to reply to personal emails.

I can now focus on finishing a task before moving on to the next one.

I can hold up my end of a conversation without some bleep, sweep, or creep interfering.

And it is so much more peaceful.