Folks… there’s a serious subject we need talk about.. both as farmers, and as a society in general.
I’m talking about the compulsive use of the internet which has reached epic proportions! The wildest part is that many of these apps are designed specifically to be addictive. Whether it’s social media addiction, compulsive email checking, or obsessive news consumption (my personal favorite is the BBC website), we each have our own personal flavor of internet addiction.
Not only do we waste our time on these sites, but there is also the less obvious cost of getting distracted. Each time we switch tasks, there is a real energetic cost for the brain. Even if we’re “just” taking a couple of minutes to check something on our “smart” phone (or rather, Quick-phone as Seth Godin has pointed out), the impact of this distraction is huge and significantly takes away from the mental energy available for what actually is important to us.
Now, I want to make it clear that I am not anti-internet or anti-technology. These are amazing tools for us to use in our pursuit of happiness, prosperity, and in the building of a better world. But this is exactly what they are– they are TOOLS! We need to keep it as such rather than allowing them to take over and take control of our lives.
1) Be intentional about scheduling specific times for internet use: Will power is awesome… AND, there are certain ways to use will power in a leveraged manner, thus freeing you up to focus your willpower on more important things than trying to resist the temptation to watch another damn kitten video! You will be amazed by the peace of mind that comes from installing an app likeFreedom to schedule what apps and websites you want to block during your workday (or in the evening, or on the weekend.) I highly recommend this app. It has made an amazing difference in my life (I had developed an annoying habit of mindlessly watching YouTube till midnight on a regular basis!) Freedom works great on Android devices, PC’s, Mac computers; but not on iPads or iPhones. So far, the best alternative I have found is to use the built-in “screen time” app, though it’s capacity is far less than Freedom. Someone mentioned that Disney actually has a good parental control app that works on iDevices, though I haven’t checked it out yet.
2) Turn off notifications on your phone: Seriously, you don’t need that phone ringing and dinging at you. You’ll be amazed at the silence once you turn it off… a bit like a noisy fridge that suddenly stops and you only realize that you hadn’t even been aware of how loud the fridge noise was.
3) Train those around you not to expect immediate responses to communications. This will actually have the happy side effect of encouraging people to think twice before sending you a message for every single little thing that crosses their mind. Oh… and ideally, don’t check email, etc. until after you’ve gotten your day off to a good start using an intentional morning routine.
I know this may sound crazy, but let me assure you that the reward on the other side is so worth it! There is another way to live that can even be hard to imagine until you’ve experienced it.
- What would you be free to focus on if your attention wasn’t distracted by the phone/internet?
- How would you LOVE to use the tool known as the internet/smartphone to achieve your goals and dreams?
- By what date are you willing to install the tools and systems to help free you from this addiction?
PS: Just to be clear, I have no affiliation or financial incentive regarding the app ‘Freedom’. It’s just made such a difference for me that I wanted to pass it on to you! 30$ per year in exchange for freedom from youtube… what a bargain!