MicroBlog Monday: Downshifting

I need to take back my life and become more present again. My obsessive use of technology, though not an oddity, is having huge negative effects on my life and character. When I got my first smart phone, I began to disengage and be distracted from the world and the people around me. I have done everything I can to limit these effects and my addiction to being distracted but it hasn’t worked. I’ve made excuses on how it is normal and expected now. I’m not okay with that and need to take back my attention.

While reading “True Love,” by Thich Nhat Hanh just now, I came across this passage:

The most precious gift you can give to the one you love is your true presence. What must we do to really be there?

Bam. Way to shatter my Momma heart. I so love Wallace and he suffers from my lack of presence and attention. If I am constantly checking my phone, or texting while I eat, or taking pictures just to post them, then I am not truly present. I must make drastic changes in order to really be there for him. My life and well-being also suffer from not being present in the moment.

The biggest distraction is my phone, so I will start there. I was looking around to see if I could get a phone that only could text and call. The one I saw for my carrier is the T9 style and I do need to be able to text somewhat. Instead, I will dumb down my smart phone. I can delete the few apps I have, disable the ones I can’t delete like the web browser, log my emails out, and keep it in one spot in the house or in my bag. (Didn’t there used to be phones that were connected to the wall?)

I can check emails, blog, and check facebook on the desktop computer. I can listen to podcasts and look up recipes on my kindle. My phone will be only for texts, calls, and taking pictures. It is time to say goodbye to instagram, to web browser, and to blogging and multitasking. My phone is low quality so it can’t handle a lot of apps and things anyway. That has cut back on the random playing of games that I used to do.

It’s time to let go and to be more present. Maybe I won’t post, read, and comment as much but I will look my child in the face when he talks to me. I will put down my phone and be here for him now.

About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
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10 Responses to MicroBlog Monday: Downshifting

  1. I noticed a huge shit in the kid’s behaviour when I for the most part gave up my phone when they are around. I use it to play music and take pictures but other than that, when I’m with them I don’t use my phone. I’ve decided that I need to balance things because the phone is what allows other people to present in my kids live’s too so I don’t want to cut it out completely. Also, I need my phone for my support network, but I don’t need to be accessing it at all times (and certainly not when I’m with my kids).
    I hope this works out well for you! I will miss the pictures though.

  2. Hehehe shit instead of shift…
    I notice a big difference in his behavior too. I’m not so good at limiting myself and definitely need to be able to stay connected with people. I have it bad though. Sometimes I wonder how I used to just be and not have my phone on me all the time. I want that back. I think back to the relationship I was in when I got a smart phone and the negative impact it had on me/us then. I believe I can have more time and feel less stressed without it. Turns out I can’t disable the browser so I just took it off my screen. Here’s what I will have: one email account, text, phone, contacts, camera, picasa (for uploadind pictures to storage), calendar, weather, maps, bank app, and hangouts.

  3. Lindsay says:

    I blogged about this a couple months ago and I started off doing SO GOOD at not being on my phone when I was with Evelyn. Then I started to permit myself to look “just this once” and now I am back to where I was and being really shitty about being on technology all the time. This post is a kick in the ass for me to get back to being hands-free when I’m with Evelyn, so I can truly be present. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. I know you struggle with this too. I need to decide on a spot to put my phone. I might just leave it in my bag on the coat rack.

  5. bumbismom says:

    Good luck! This is a great idea. So hard to cut back on technology but so important to be present with our kids. I put my phone on airplane mode when I am working with Bumbi but need to do more.

  6. Mel says:

    It is important to get that balance. Because it IS tempting (because it’s so easy and other things are harder) to look at the phone. When I feel my hand reaching for it, I ask myself why I am picking it up. If I can answer, I look. If I can’t really answer, I don’t.

  7. kayrosey says:

    I like this!
    I find myself getting annoyed at Ali sometimes because she’s interrupting my phone browsing, which is awful I know. I try to limit myself, and put it aside when she wants my attention, but I could do better.

  8. I put it on airplane mode at night but since I am almost always with Wallace, it wouldn’t work for me to do that. I may try it for things like story time or dinner. I am still working on having a spot to just leave my phone and am feeling the need to keep it on me.

  9. Nice! I will try to ask myself that too. A lot of the times the answer is that I am bored or lonely. Even just in these few days, my interactions seem to be more intentional and meaningful. I am also getting a bunch of stuff done.

  10. That is exactly what was happening but on a big scale for me. I hope that me writing about this does help you to set it aside more. Save web browsing and social media scrolling for when she is in bed or you are not with her.

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