The Online Addiction

BalanceThis morning I came across a post on Beth Still’s Nebraska Change Agent blog titled, Finding Balance. Beth writes about her commitment to finding balance between her online time and spending quality time with her family. This is a struggle many (all?) of us face. Here is my response to Beth’s post on how I am trying to ‘unplug and reconnect’.

Beth,

You describe a struggle many of us face. Not only is there work to be done (I’ve got my office in my lap!) but I often justify that I am fulfilling my lifelong learning goals by being connected.

It may seem silly, but I find the need to schedule time for relaxation and family/friends. I am trying to flip that and schedule time for online work/access. This will become more important as I have just begun a yearlong, rigorous online A&S certification program.

I have long since turned off my email sounds and taken the twitter pop-ups preference off. This has helped immensely. I check email at intervals, rather than constantly. During the school year this will change a bit due to the nature of my job, but when I am home, I am pledging to be more ‘present’.

I am also not constantly walking around with my phone in my pocket at home. I actually leave it upstairs for hours at a time! There are days where I just can’t turn on Twitter due to limited time. I know I am missing out on some great things, but I also know my PLN is always there; I don’t need to know or read everything.

As for my Reader, I am spending more time reading ‘offline’ when I have the time: on an airplane, waiting at the dentist, etc. Blogs, Readers, email, Facebook, they can all wait. Family and friends cannot.

Gotta run. I’m out the door to walk the dogs. It’s a beautiful day!

What are you doing to create a balance between your online life and your family?

Image attribution: http://u.nu/74uk
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One Response

  1. If I’m not careful I can waste an entire day surfing around Twitter, Diigo, Plurk, Facebook and my Google Reader. Since I don’t have kids there are days when I can do that an not feel guilty in the least. But I do know that for my own emotional well-being it’s best if I occasionally get off my booty and go see some REAL people.

    On the weeks when I feel like my internet time is getting out of control I let my laptop battery be my gatekeeper. I charge my battery over night and then I just get to use my laptop for the 4 hours or so that my battery lasts. Once the power runs down I put the laptop down, walk away and leave it UNPLUGGED so that I can’t sneak onto the net later.

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