Electronic Diet: My Quest for Less Screen Time

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My name is Becky and I am addicted to my phone.

Yes, My Phone

They say the first step is recognizing that you have a problem so here I am. I am not a doctor. I don’t have a high-powered, executive position in some major corporation where every minute is another opportunity for a life-altering decision. But I might miss a status update on Facebook. Or an email from Joann’s craft store. Silly, yes, but important to me.

It has gotten to the point where I don’t watch a movie with my family. I scroll through my Facebook feed or browse news websites and such and just barely pay enough attention to the movie to make a comment now and then. I am not worried about missing a movie. But I am missing time with my family. What is so gripping that I cannot put down my phone for more than 10 minutes at a time?

With all of the terrifying news about missing children, horrible crimes, natural disasters and the current political state, it makes me wonder why I am so obsessed with staying connected. It is important to be informed. But there is no reason to get minute by minute updates on the state of the world and miss what is happening at home. That doesn’t even cover the range of emotions that I go through reading all of this. As a human being and a parent, the news makes me sad, angry, frustrated, scared etc. This is emotionally draining and has no real benefit.

Then we come to Facebook. Yes, we can keep up with friends, but do we really need to see the post from our hairdresser’s cousin who got a new parakeet? Really? And Facebook seems to reinforce our tendency to compare our lives with those of others. I know I do it. And then I start to feel like I am not good enough and my life isn’t good enough and it is a slippery slope from there.

Taking Control 

So I have decided to take control. I am weeding out the pages I follow and the people that I am “friends” with on Facebook. I want my feed filled with my friends and news of good deeds and recipes, not hateful memes and political noise.

I am also trying to limit myself to checking my phone once per hour in the evenings. Five minutes and that’s it. It is not enough, but it is a start. Maybe my days won’t be such an emotional rollercoaster and I can focus on the things that truly matter to me here at home.

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Becky is a Colorado native who lives on the east side of the Springs with her 4 year old son Sam, her husband Matt, and 3 dogs and 1 cat. She has been married for 15 years. She has worked in healthcare management for her entire working life and transitioned to working for herself from her home office 4 years ago. She is grateful for the flexibility that self-employment offers but still wishes for more hours in a day to get everything done. Becky has trouble saying no and loves to be involved with a cause or a purpose. If you need someone for a committee or to get things done, she is your girl. She still makes the time to be there for friends and family. When she is not caught up in the busy-ness of her life, she loves to cook, bake, read, craft, watch movies and, of course, write. She is obsessed with cooking shows and loves to try new recipes. Her husband is her willing guinea pig for her creations.