If, like me, you’ve reached a point where you’re fed up of the internet taking over your world, because try as you might, you just can’t resist checking every few moments, here are my no-nonsense tips for reclaiming your life.
Be warned: it’s strict. But because it’s strict, it works.
1. Ditch the phone
Seriously. Lose the thing and buy an old fashioned brick that just makes phone calls and sends texts (which, if we’re honest, is probably all we need when we’re out and about anyway).
If you’re serious about getting your pre-internet life back, you need to do this, even if you’re the only one in the world without one. Well, you and me.
2. Position your family computer in an out of the way room
That way, any watching or checking is forced to happen where everyone else isn’t hanging out. Which feels a lot less fun and you’re automatically held a little bit accountable.
3. Ditch facebook and limit Instagram & emailing to once a day
Seriously: if social media is taking over your world and deep down you suspect it’s a bit of addiction, take action. We only get one life, you know? Let’s live it free.
For me, facebook was the biggest addiction. I would literally think about it while watching TV in the evenings, then furtively check it during ad breaks. Not to mention the thinking up those ‘witty’ updates all. day. long.
Yes, there are some really good bits to facebook. But from where I stand? *So* much happier without it, you wouldn’t believe.
As for Instagram, my favourite place?
I sit down with a coffee at 11am each day, post a few pictures, check a selection of friends’ pictures, comment and message a bit for half an hour or so – then it’s off until the same time tomorrow. Same goes for email (though I doubt anyone finds this especially addictive!)
And blogs? Bloglovin‘ is a girl’s best friend for keeping up to date with only the posts that really grab.
4. Consider your kids usage too
My ten year old is one of only four in her class to not have her own phone. And I’m proud of that. And her phone-less situation isn’t going to change until she’s an adult.
Harsh? I don’t think so and as long as she’s my kid, that’s the way things will be. I’m not about to hand her something I find seriously addictive, am I?
She is allowed to watch unlimited children’s programmes on CBBC and can look at online things for one hour a day – so long as we know what she’s looking at. Then she switches off and goes and plays (or more likely, goes back to her TV programmes!)
5. Manage your own content creation carefully
I have a set figure for the number of youtube videos I plan to make each month, both faithscrappers and Design Team processes.
The number feels manageable and restful and completely without overwhelm, which leaves me free to enjoy the creation process – kind of important to a creative person.`
6. Be intentional about video watching
I like to check my subscription feed every few days, then pick one or two of my friends’ scrapbooking videos that I know I’ll enjoy. I make an occasion of it by settling down with a favourite drink on the sofa.
But then it’s time to turn off and get back to real life again. Which is where, I’d argue, the real life is.
How about you? How do you manage your internet use? Any tips to share?