Confessions of a Tech Detox Gone Awry

Tech Addict

A Summary of Excuses, Exceptions and Humility…

Below is the summary of days and reflections inspired by the Wisdom of a Tech Detox 2013. 

Day 1: The Most Successful and Focused Day – Bright Eyed and Ideal with the Goal – I Happily let my morning phone “time check” impulse come and go without caving to the beckoning of my phone – my first important success!  

Throughout the day, I deliberately left my phone at home while running errands – yet the hourly impulses to check my tech remained (I didn’t even know they were there, or so strong until now…) – each moment of waiting or empty transition sparked the impulses to resurface like a haunting cough in the night.

Day 2: The Slippery Slope Begins – I confess, I used my phone as an alarm clock, my first digression.  And I used it to process credit transactions – but the really slippery slope began with an innocent temptation.

I saw a little boy slyly slip on a pair of fluorescent star-shaped pink sun glasses then his father did the same, like the Blues Brothers of downtown Phoenix.  “Awesome!” I said, “Could I take your picture?!”  The little boy with assertiveness and confidence replied, “Sure!”  I knew I was breaking my Tech Detox for this moment.  And I joyfully, unregrettably made this exception –

It was the beginning of the end of my discipline.  Moment upon priceless moment came rushing in….what could be an exception?  should I allow exceptions?  The slope kept getting steeper….

Day 3:  Excuses, Excuses…. I secretly purchased Leonie Dawson‘s 2014 Creating Your Amazing Year Workbook on Amazon.com (because… I needed it before the New Year!)… and did a rebel viewing of Key and Peele‘s Substitute Teacher (because… It was too funny not to share!)…. Then I found an amazing online offer from Vistaprint that I had received in the mail (and…. It expires tomorrow)….

Life without my tech, proved more challenging than I imagined…I found myself doing simple math on scratch paper, because… I could not use my cell phone calculator.  Friends commented that it appeared as though I was attempting to prove the theory of relativity on an 8.5×11 sheet…Furthermore, I became distraught when I could not remember the name of a dinosaur stuffed animal, and could not look it up! – wow – has my life really become this intertwined with tech?

Dinosaur

Day 4: The Ultimate Digression.  I convinced myself  that it was my last day of the Tech Detox….and somehow…..I found myself on Facebook…Then I received a message from a friend, teasing me about a “like” they saw I made in the timeframe I was supposed to be detoxing….I was so busted….

Then, a 4 year old made a delicious desert creation and asks me to photograph it and post it on the blog! I confess, I caved – I photographed it and will post her awesome creation in a later post.

Day 5: The Last Chance for Redemption: The day I come to terms with it all.

I do not see my digressions, exceptions and excuses as failures, but rather as striking evidence to a modern phenomenon of the relationship of humans and their technology.  In past years, I had denied myself a Facebook account, did not buy a cell phone and did various other things to limit and protect myself from what I saw as a new form of slavery. 

In recent years, I have allowed these technologies into my life.  It wasn’t really until unlimited texting and web-browsing became and option on a mobile device that my habits took a turn for the worst.  Even still, I do not believe that these habits are inherently evil, nor do I wish to chastise myself or others for their choices or rationalizations.   My feelings are that technology is a great tool, and a powerful one when used with deliberation and clear intent.  

I am grateful that I brought a Tech Detox into my life, if not only to free myself for a bit, but more to see how often I use or think about using technology for my daily tasks.  And most importantly, to consider the erroneous and non-erroneous activities I use it for.

Wishing you many happy and healthy tech and non-tech days and the mental freedom to be clear about the tempting and erroneous uses of tech so often overlooked or denied.

I have no direct plan yet on how to improve my discipline or productivity with tech, I simply plan to be more aware of my intentions and uses of it for now.  And of course to always enjoy the little “unplugged” things with the people around me!

Sun Nap

Happy New Year!

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