Wednesday, January 6, 2010
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,