So, it’s over. I did a two-week technology cleanse, and learned a lot about myself and my surroundings. I was able to achieve most of my goals, or at least move in the right direction toward decreasing my overall screen time.
What I did:
I was able to limit my social media use through the day, and I became much more mindful of when I was checking my phone and how much time I was spending on it. I didn’t watch even one episode of Netflix, which means I did even better than what I had planned for the two weeks. Instead, I found other activities to fill my time. I did Sudoku puzzles, printed and completed crosswords, and spent time filling in my colouring book – great for relaxation! I also increased my physical activity levels, because every morning instead of sitting on my computer or phone before heading into the lab, I was able to do a quick workout or yoga session. That made me much more productive during the day, which was one of my main goals.
What I learned:
Technology use is unavoidable. There’s no other way around it. Everything I do revolves around technology, including my lab work (data analysis, stats, writing results), and free time. It is also much more of a habit than I ever knew it was. Many times, I reached for my phone without even thinking, especially during the first week. I realized how constant my presence on social media sites really is, and I use it as a way to cure my boredom. Whenever I receive a new notification, I use it an excuse to take a break and see what is happening in my networks, but I ultimately just get sucked in and spend much more time than necessary.
What I would do next:
I want to do another technology cleanse when I have a more flexible schedule. I developed new habits and became more mindful of my screen time over the past two weeks, but I want to do more and improve even more in the future. I want to get better at setting boundaries on my technology use, and integrate it into my life in a way that isn’t overwhelming, but rather more efficient.
Overall, this technology cleanse was a good experience. It was difficult (much more difficult than I imagined it would be), but it was necessary and worth it at the end of the day. I would recommend trying it, at least for a short period of time, to see what kinds of changes you can make.
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