Update: I’ve had a Smartphone for a few years now and I am able to manage the time I spent surfing on my phone. However, I’ve survived for a long time without one and most probably would be able to do so if the need arises.
Today, everyone is carrying a Smartphone around. Almost all my friends and the people I know who are avid mobile phone users and web surfers have a Smartphone of some sort- iPhone, Andriod or Blackberry.
Why I’ll probably would not use a Smartphone
Few months ago, I have been quite tempted myself to buy with the various deals that the telcos are having. Many have bundled a Smartphone with data package that enable users to surf the net. Thought maybe can squeeze in a quick post or two or snap some really cool pictures with the special effects. So much stuff we can do with Smartphone. My friend said, once you have it, you can never go back to the traditional phones. So, really thought of switching until….
I thought about how having the mobile internet access may have affect the quality of my personal life. Internet access can be distracting. In my previous company, I could access to all the web pages including Facebook- so I sometimes find myself wasting time mindlessly surfing the net during the office hours. It is not as relaxing as it seems- it is tiring because of the subtle information overload. You may not realize it, but your brain power does get scattered outwards when you get distracted with the TV or surfing the internet. The outward flow of energy would zap and lower your energy levels. You may feel more lethargic, tired and have lack of motivation to do anything when your energy levels are down.
In my current company, most of us are not allowed to have internet access. If we want internet access, have to justify to a very high level. I need to sometimes get materials from the internet but because of no access, I need to borrow my colleague’s PC (she’s one of the few people in the department that because of the nature of her job function- must have internet access). So I only use would use the internet very sparingly- when I really had to get some information. Not for surfing, not for wasting time.
Despite being a part-time blogger that also implies that I would need internet access often, I only blog when I am at home. During periods where it is very busy at the office, I would cut down my blogging activities- and hence, there may be less posts being published. There had to be moderation, and my job had to come first because it pays the bills. If I spend the whole night blogging, I would not have enough mental energy to go through the working day….and I need lots of brain stamina daily at work.
At home, I mainly use the internet when I have to and have cut down a lot of mindless surfing on the net to read articles. I seldom go and surf, unless again I need to search for some information. So, in a way it is a blessing that I cannot access to the net at office…. Or else I probably would be too tempted to stray into website on “how to deal with work stress”, or “relaxation scenery photos” or “how to deal with annoyance at work”, etc….
My Facebook usage also have been cut to a bare minimum- in fact, I mostly use it to send personal message to my friends. Sorry folks, but I do find Facebook a bit ‘over’- and there is this tendency to overdramatized the life’s event. Most of the time, people do not let their true self shown on Facebook. If one is not careful, sometimes using Facebook may leave one feeling even more lonely than ever. And Facebook is one of the most visited site for all Smartphone users. I see most people are tuned into their Facebook 24/7. Why? It is not even real…..
So after some due consideration, I thought to myself, well, nay, I’ll just stick to my LG. Can save a few thousand bucks every year.
Cutting down on online time to the time that is really necessary, I find the quality of my life really have improved- I have more time and energy to do things in my personal real life that I really enjoy. Also, I constantly try to keep my attention more focused inward instead of outward (it is something that requires conscious effort and as often, I would slip as well). But at least making the effort, I have found that being more self-aware have helped me to increase and maintain my energy levels.
When you take a break or go on a holiday, try not to take your laptop or iPad with you. Learn to really relax. At airports or during travelling, I often seen kids being distracted and playing with their iPad (each kid has one) or their video games while their parents appreciate having the peace and quiet time. If from young the child requires such high level of mental stimulation in order to keep the brain interested, they may grow up to:
- Unable to relax or calm their minds down when stressed because they don’t know how to. When stressed, they may resort to video games or surfing the net that may further drain their energies levels and leaving them more depressed or aggressive
- Want immediate gratification- in a lot of things that we do in life, we have to plan, and patiently wait for results to come in. Sometimes our efforts may take a year or more to bear fruits. Most worthwhile things take long time to see results. If we are impatient and abandon our project thinking that it would never work, then our entire lives we would be moving from one thing to another, never staying long enough.
To constantly want to compete, to win, to look for new challenges and targets are ‘acceptable’ life purpose. Anyone who does not fit into the ‘mould’ may be considered abnormal. Most of us are too out of touch with the body to see that how this affects our mind, body and spirit. Really, it tires us to the very core and we are too distracted to see. Sometimes, the indications are tears may come for no apparent reason when we watch a scene, or a sense that we are on the wrong route, but we may just quickly find a way to numb it all out.
You may find that the suggestions in this article unthinkable and must be thinking to yourself what kinda crazy fellow write this type of article. But just KIV (keep in view). One day, when you are at life’s crossroads and start to question your choices, you would get what I mean. The first time I was given the advise by a wise person to cut down my online activity, I thought that it must be because the person does not really ‘digg’ the internet.
But since I also KIV-ed the advise, I begin to be more aware of what’s going on internally within myself. I realised that over surfing the net and over zealous blogging does zap some of our energy. If you are a full time blogger but only spend 4 productive hours daily online, it’s fine. But if you blog after you get home tired from work, it is going to take a toll.