Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mindful Computing

Lately I have considered committing social networking suicide. With two blogs, a website, 6 e-mail accounts, 2 Facebook pages and a Twitter account, I have lots of opportunities to tune into and contribute to a near constant stream of information and chatter. The internet is such a gift- with its information at the ready and opportunities to connect with people who otherwise might have been long lost or undiscovered. The internet gives us a chance to share ideas with and to be inspired by people all over the globe. It is fertile soil for creativity, collaboration and conversation.

It is also a great big time suck. The internet can be so seductive; it is so easy to get swept up in the quest for instant gratification, compulsively checking our inbox for proof positive that we are loved. I say we, but I mean me. My relationship with the computer could be described as an addiction, with far more time than I would like to admit spent tweeting, blogging, commenting, reading, browsing, checking stats and updating.

So, as you can imagine, one of the things that appealed to me about attending a week long meditation retreat was the fact that I would have no access to a computer. I knew that going cold turkey would help me break some unhealthy habits and replace them with healthier ones. Here is what I have done since I got home-

1. I cleaned up my desktop and began the work of organizing and discarding files.

2. I re-did my computer home page- I simplified it and changed the theme to one that was more peaceful.

3. I installed a mindfulness bell that is set to go off every 15 minutes with a lovely chime that serves to help me track the time and reminds me to pause to relax and take a breath or two as I work.

4. I am writing my first drafts on paper- the old fashioned way.

5. I taking more time with communiques, rather than giving in to a false sense of urgency, giving myself time to think and chose my words.

So far, so good. I am spending far less time on the computer these days which is opening up much needed time for other endeavors and I haven't had to kill off my virtual identity to achieve a more balanced approach to computing. I thought it might be useful to pass along these ideas and to see if anyone else has any more thoughts on mindful computing to share.

Wishing you balance,



  1. No comment, putting energy into other endeavors.

  2. I've been sucked in to the computer big time. Slowly beginning to extricate myself.

  3. CatLady- It is so seductive, isn't it? But there is a point of diminishing returns...I would suggest the mindfulness bell. The other night it somehow got disabled and I spent hours on the computer...


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