Seeking the Goldilocks solution

Like many of you, I am a modern busy person with a smart phone and a lot of online connections and responsibilities. I finally conceded to friends a few years ago and joined Facebook, and I love being able to reconnect with people who are far away and keep in touch with people I rarely see. I enjoy the shared experiences we have on the virtual walls of the program. I’ve got some frustrations, but I find it enriches my life. I haven’t yet joined other social networks because I don’t want to spend all my time online, although I may start tweeting because I think it would be a helpful skill to have for some of my business writing.

Of course I’ve got email, and I maintain several blogs. I engage in an online writing community of haiku poets called Carpe Diem. I look forward to the time I spend writing the prompts and reading what others have written. We comment back and forth on each other’s posts, and get to know each other as writers and people (since so much writing is personal).

Why am I giving you a laundry list of my digital life? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I carefully pick and choose my online presence, but even so sometimes things get to be too much. When we are always connected to everything we lose connection to ourselves. I find myself looking down at my phone far too often to check out the online world when I could be looking up and looking around me. I compulsively read certain blogs and sometimes scroll through others I don’t even care about just to be staring at a screen. I probably have far too many games on my phone. It becomes addictive.

I’m not planning to give any of this up, but I am thinking about how I can create more balance in my life. I am asking myself what adds and what detracts. Blogging is definitely an energizer for me, and the more I write, the better I write. On the other hand, do I really need to read and respond to every cute cat item on Facebook? Can I check my email a little less frequently? Do I need to play computer games on my phone when I have five spare minutes, or should I take a deep breath and appreciate the lull?

I am also finding that I sleep better when I turn of the computer a few hours before bed and stop looking at things online or on the phone. Unless I am under deadline, most things can wait for tomorrow. If they can’t, someone will give me a call. I can slow my brain down a little before I drift off to sleep instead of trying to slam on the brakes and go right to bed. It is good. Sometimes you cannot find an answer until you realize you have questions. It’s a place to start.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
251. Ask yourself some questions about your digital life. Are your online interactions satisfying? Why or why not? What is really working for you and what isn’t? Try implementing some changes and see how you feel.

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