Digital Mindfulness

The internet is a major distraction.  I agree with Leo Babauta when he talked about deleting Facebook in his blog titled Simplify the Internet.  I remember when I first got Facebook and it was a cool place where I could see all of the things that my friends and family posted.  Then it started to develop into something more.  I started having everybody I ever met try and add me to Facebook.  Years later it was to the point that I couldn’t even remember where I had met some of these people that were supposedly my friends.  One day a few years ago I went through and cut my friends list down drastically by deleting around 50% of them.  The funny part was that immediately afterward they all started to try and add me back because I popped up on their possible friends list.  People that I had met one time in a bar when we were 21.  I didn’t understand it.  I deleted Facebook almost two years ago.

cuttingties

It had just grown to the point where it was 90% crap and 10% almost useful information. I can say that I was without social media until we started this class.  I am not saying I can go offline for a year like Paul Miller talked about in his TED talk, “A Year Offline, What I Have Learned”.  That would make being a full time online student very hard.  I Don’t think I could ever really drop it all.  My work functions on email and the National Guard depends on it for communication about drills.  I would not say that I am a very connected person though.  If I had to guess how much free time I dedicate to the internet it would probably be somewhere in the 5% area.  I like to watch movie trailers and funny talk show clips.  I also am very good at using google to answer questions when I get them in my head.  It would be rough to have to go all the way to the library and check out a book to find the answers to my questions that take less than two minutes to answer with my phone.  I find it really easy to not be on my phone or the internet when I am otherwise engaged.  If I am out doing something sometimes I forget to check it for a few hours at a time.  I have a couple general rules that I like to live by when using my phone in the company of others.  Keep it very minimal and if you are at the supper table or in direct conversation with somebody then it should never come out of your pocket.  We should try everyday to build on the relationships that we have with the people that truly matter in our lives.  Put down the phone and be present in the situation.

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