I know there are a lot of humorous articles out there about spending too much time on the computer, but this is not one of them. Whether using the computer for pleasure or business, or both, it’s very easy to get sucked in. There’s always another email to check, a Facebook status to post, an item to shop for or some breaking news to read about. It could literally keep you occupied 24/7. But that’s not good for you, or for those you love.
So here are a few pretty straightforward clues that you need to back off and step away from the PC.
You’re eating all your meals in front of the computer. Guilty! Recently, I had way too much stuff scheduled in for my blog and discovered after several days that I had not sat down ONE time to eat a meal with my family.
If you have children and notice that every time you get on the computer they start to get fussy, whiny and argumentative, then consider that you might be spending more time babysitting your Facebook page than your own children. Sometimes, they vent their frustration over your distractedness by acting up. This is very similar to what happens when you’re occupied on the phone…..
When I first started my blog a few years ago, it was so exciting and new that I was constantly checking in and working on promoting it. My oldest son actually came up to me one day and very simply asked “Mama, why are you on the computer all the time?” Ouch. It may seem to adults that children are very adaptable, and they are, but it doesn’t mean they don’t like what’s going on sometimes! So be thankful when they tell you because it’s sincere…and they are probably right.
Do you ever tell yourself “I don’t have time to do this or that,” project or household chore, but then refuse to admit that you did have time to surf the Internet for hours? That’s just human nature. It’s easy to make time for fun and relaxation, but difficult to follow through on our duties.
Have you quit doing good things that you used to do? For instance, maybe you used to cook a lot but now meals are a complete afterthought and your kitchen looks abandoned. Or you had an instrument that was played every day and now it’s gathering dust. Maybe it’s something simple like book-reading that has fallen by the wayside. Don’t let time on the computer take you away from your passions, your talents and your energy spent on tangible things.
If you feel like there’s too much computer in your day and want some help stepping back, here are some tips I gathered online (don’t worry, it only took me about 5 minutes)!
1. Keep a journal for a day or two and see just how much time you are actually on the PC.
2. Set a timer for computer activities and obey it!
3. Find someone to hold you accountable. It can be a spouse, a friend or even one of your children.
4. If there’s an underlying problem (stress, anxiety, shyness, etc.) that keeps you running to the computer, then try tackling that first.
5. Make dates or invite friends over. This will pretty much force you to disengage from the machine.
6. Ask yourself “What am I missing when I’m on the computer?” Write down the answers and refer to it often. The answer is….a lot! So use your time wisely.