I don't mean to sound like a luddite or a tech vegan or something, but I have some personal experiences with this.

I got off Facebook years ago, because suddenly I felt like I was being pressured to keep people up to date with my life and it was making me unhappy. I didn't go through major withdrawal, but a few months later, I realized I was happier.

I finally got off Reddit earlier this year, because I don't like the atmosphere of it and I didn't like how I constantly felt compelled to check Reddit to see what was being posted, what was being said, what statements were gonna make me angry, what statements I was gonna agree with, etc. I did go through quite a bit of a withdrawal, but a few months later, I realized I was happier.

Shortly after Reddit, for a number of reasons, I gave up my smart phone and went back to a flip phone. No internet. No e-mails. No video games. Just calling, texting, and an MP3 player. I had no idea how much I was tied to my phone until I gave it up. Seriously. Every time I had a free moment, I pulled it out to check the time. Since I had it out to check the time, I'd do something else. I'd check my e-mail. I'd get on Hubski. I'd see what's going on in the news. Checking. Checking. Checking. Always checking. Sometimes consciously, sometimes semi-consciously where I knew what I was doing and didn't want to do it but for some reason I couldn't stop myself. Sometimes, I'd find myself wanting to check my phone, unable to do so, and become a really weird combination of frustrated and anxious.

I'm so, so, so much happier now. It's crazy. I'm paying attention to nature again. The lizards and the birds in my backyard. I'm appreciating trees and flowers. When I have free moments, I pull my phone out, check the time, make sure I don't have any texts, and put it back in my pocket. My movie time is uninterrupted. My time with the dog is uninterrupted. I feel so untethered.

I went to a wedding recently and I gave my phone to my wife to keep in her purse so I wouldn't have it in my pockets ruining the line of the pants. I didn't once think about it the whole time. If the wedding happened exactly a year ago, I can almost bet I'd be feeling an emotional tug to want to pull it out and check my e-mail, check the news, check Reddit, check Hubski. Phone. Phone. Phone.


I'm not completely curred though. Sometimes, early in the morning when I wake up and the whole world is still asleep, I seek out Dala's tablet so I can sit on the couch and check the news and Hubski and see what's new.

So, I dunno. Maybe even if we don't use everything described in the article as it's described in the article, they got some points.

posted by mk: 503 days ago