Our Online Distractions – Do We Have Time for All This?

I admittedly spend too much time online.  My goodness there is so much to do here it is almost becoming a chore.

Let’s see, I must check my personal and work email persistently throughout the day.  I find I must keep up with all the junk mail so as not to miss any real important email.    I will also pop onto Facebook at least once a day, more often if I receive an email or smart phone notification.    I check out Patch daily for local news and events.  I’ll visit LinkedIn and Twitter perhaps weekly.  Of course any thought that pops into my head I am Googling to find out more about it.   I will also admit to my Words with Friends addiction.  I have about 15 games going – with both friends and strangers.  I feel good about this, as it’s fun and stretches my mind a bit.

This is keeping me quite busy.  But now what about Instagram and Pinterest?  Do I have time for these too?  (Actually I have checked them out and they are pretty cool but I am resisting).   I am sure there are a whole bunch of apps that I am missing out on but I just don’t have time to get addicted to any additional online endeavors.  And yes Facebook addiction is real:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/facebook-addiction-test-women_n_1500656.html.

Last August I wrote about taking a vacation from Facebook and online distractions http://wp.me/p1CHug-N.   I should really take my own advice, perhaps put myself on an online diet and get some of those lingering household projects done!

It used to be easy to be offline.  We started out with desktop personal computers. If you wanted to be online you had to be where your computer was.   It was great when laptops, wireless,  and Wi-Fi came along – we no longer had to be tied down to our desks (or where ever our PC was hooked up).  Now we could be online in any room of the house or public Wi-Fi area.  We were able to naturally take breaks from our email and other online distractions when not in front of our laptops.   But now we are carrying our smart phones and tablets around with us and at any and every moment we are plugged in.   Our only control is our own self-control, and oh boy good luck with that.  Admittedly there are more apps today to win our attention.

I see couples young and old in restaurants waiting for their tables or food, and instead of talking with one another, each is tapping away on their own phone.  At any small moment of boredom our habit has become to engage in an electronic endeavor – checking email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Words with Friends, etc.  Perhaps this is a good time management technique, but at what cost?  I wonder where our minds might take us if left on their own to ramble unplugged for a while.

Are we missing out on the real world or has this become our real world?  Sorry, gotta go now, my real world laundry awaits!

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