I am an early adopter; always have been. From my first computer in 1992, to being the first of my friends with a Kindle, to constantly pressing F5 while watching Apple keynotes, to testing beta software, to being the first of my friends with a Fitbit AND an Apple Watch: I love technology.
This isn’t always a good thing.
I find myself relying on technology too much. I constantly check my phone: whether I’m watching TV or while I’m working, the buzz (and the dopamine attached to checking for notifications) is addictive. My iPad is always in my bed. And, until last week, my Apple Watch was attached to my wrist.
I’m too connected. YOU are too connected.
I work remotely, and I have always been attached to social, whether for work or for my blog. After taking a week off from work, barely checking email, and not even texting a whole lot, I realized that the weight on my wrist was also a weight on my brain, and a weight on my spirit.
The Path Back to Analog
This isn’t my first step in stepping back on technology. I’ve tried for years to digitize my entire life: it doesn’t work. While I use Evernote for digital archiving, love Google Docs and am a huge fan of Todoist. However, it is more satisfying for me to have a day planner that I can write in. I love paper to-do lists: I can put a definitive — non-digital– slash through completed items with my decidedly non-digital fountain pen. I take notes in meetings on pen and paper; after all it’s more effective from a learning perspective. I feel like I get more accomplished. I do like having digital reminders for some things, but it is much easier for me to review my planner and notes every morning, and then review again at night.
Do I need to know exactly when someone texts me?
Do I need a notification from Buzzfeed whenever the President tweets?
Do I need an app to remind me to eat (this is wine me, dine me: of course I don’t)?
It got me to thinking about how much time I spent on my phone. An app, Moment, can track that for me: an average of 5 hours a day. Why?
- Text messages
- Email checks
- Fitness apps (OK, that one’s not *too* bad)
- Facebook. So. Much. Facebook
What am I accomplishing by obsessively checking social accounts? And why, for the love of bacon and bourbon, do I need to have it not only in my hand or in my purse, but on my wrist?
My favorite features, tracking my steps and exercise, are easily accommodated by a simpler, lighter device. One that doesn’t connect as seamlessly with my phone.
So, Apple Watch, unless I’m traveling (where it truly is handy), I am breaking up with you.
I am breaking up with constant taps that distract me from my work.
I am breaking up with the feeling I need to be connected to work (and everyone else) all the time.
I am breaking up with responding to text messages on other people’s time, not on my own.
I am breaking up with not being present.
I am breaking up with not being able to check in with myself.
I’ve been through a lot of changes in the past few months. This one is definitely a positive one. Sometimes, you have to disconnect to reconnect.