This was a recent question from the Thought Questions website. It is a great one for me because temptations sometimes stand in the way of realizing some of my goals.
Although getting rid of some temptations (candy and gum come to mind) would make my life better, there is one that stands out for me right now: being connected for way too many hours of the day. There are so many things happening online that I want to be a part of and they seem to be multiplying all the time. Twitter chats, new apps, online book clubs, Facebook updates, Voxer groups and on and on and on. And, I want to be a part of all of it. So, I sign up or subscribe to all of them and then wonder why I can’t keep up with everything. Well, duh!
OK. So, I’ll say it again: being connected 24/7 is my greatest temptation and removing it from my life completely would be disastrous as I learn so much from my virtual contacts. These social media connections are important to my engagement and growth as an educator. My dilemma, and probably everyone else’s as well, is that being connected 24/7 is easy to do; my iPhone is always close by. However, it’s not necessary to be connected 24/7, as tempting as that is, to get the benefit of what social media has to offer. Shutting down once in a while and powering off has helped me get clarity and allowed me to focus on the moment. When I do this and then return to social media later on, like an addict needing a fix, I find that I didn’t miss anything that couldn’t wait. There were no earth shattering updates on Facebook. I didn’t miss any emails offering me a book deal. Nothing was so important that it couldn’t wait. In fact, I quickly realize that not every new gadget or digital initiative out there is worth my time. It all comes down to purpose. What is my purpose? What do I want to achieve? It’s always about, so what?
The so what or my purpose for engaging with social media is to learn from others and to give back a little. And, my current purpose for disengaging on a regular basis is to focus on my doctorate.
Now, recognizing this temptation and wanting to tame it is a good thing, but I’ve been there, done that. I’m ready to try something new by taking concrete action that works for me. So, I’ve tried disconnecting on Saturdays, like Angela Watson and that has worked on occasion…when I remembered to do it! Recently, I’ve been enthralled (tempted by?) the practice of turning off my device for 2 1/2 hours a night, like the new Canadian Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. That seems doable and healthy…for me, which is a start. However if I want to use this down time to hang out with my family as well, then this wouldn’t be enough; everyone at home would need to power off at the same time. This may pose a challenge for some of us at home, but it’s worth a try.
So, I plan to set my phone down when I get home for at least 2 1/2 hours to do something else. That something else will probably be a combination of hanging out with my husband and son and spending focused time on my doctorate work. I’ll write a blog post about how it’s going in a few weeks.
What’s your greatest temptation? Are you willing to admit to it and tame your temptation? Leave a comment below and let’s have a conversation.
Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life