Proceed with Caution

While I love the opportunity to communicate in cyberspace, there are some things I’ve learned in this age of tweets, texts, and status updates. Perhaps putting them into practice will simplify – and enrich – your lives, I know it will mine.

It’s easy to develop what I call cyber ADD…always keeping one eye on how many new emails I’ve received, how many new communiques via Facebook, and how many incoming tweets. My simple remedy: Check at predetermined times throughout the day, allow myself only the allotted time to check all social networks, and maybe most importantly, close the window after my time is up. I feel so much more productive when I do this, and the open window isn’t there taunting me.

I have a netbook. Now, if I’m going to chat with my son who’s at college and watch TV with my hubby, it’s better to do so in the living room with my computer on my knee. However, that’s pretty much the only reason I have to use it unless I’m traveling.

I must resist the temptation to continue focusing on the monitor when my kids want to talk. I’ve said this before, but it’s a simple matter of turning my chair so I can look at them and chat – even about nothing at all. One day, in the not too distant future, they’ll find places of their own, and I’ll miss these “interruptions.”

Because of the convenience of communicating online – and the fact that most calls are from telemarketers – I no longer spend hours on the telephone. That, in itself, is a good thing. However, I should never consider chatting online with a friend or family member anything but a privilege.

It may have to do with the nip in the air. It may have to do with the fact that I have to do my hair and get dressed to go out in public. In either case, I have to guard against the temptation to slowly become a hermit. Okay, I’d never be a real hermit. I’m too social. However, it’s so much easier to socialize with the help of a keyboard and monitor.

And then there are the other things I have to guard against…opting for processed or fast foods because I can’t be bothered cooking (I’m doing much better in this area, but I still have to be careful); surfing when I should be working (much of my work is on the computer, so I have to be disciplined); staying in one position too long (beyond the physical benefits, regular exercise and getting up to stretch and walk around allow me to think more clearly and work more efficiently).

If none of these apply to you, kudos! If they do, I’d love to hear what suggestions you found helpful. I’d also love to hear any cautions you might like to share.

2 thoughts on “Proceed with Caution

  1. Donna F. Petersen

    This is SO timely and resonates with me strongly! I hope to implement your practice of checking emails and FB messages at predetermined times, and setting time limits on social media. It is so easy to let a “quick” check of FB mutate into a 30-minute session……… Thank you for your insights, practical advice, and extra motivation to get my “screen time” under control!

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