Ciao y’all, Alicia here. It’s high time I got on the bandwagon and started being a team contributor to this blog, instead of a guest blogger! After all, Andrew and I are partners in life AND in this blog. I wanted to share something with you that has nothing to do with adventures or traveling, but has become my new and developing mantra.
Over the last year, I’ve noticed an increased personal dependence on technology. This is partially due to the fact that I have a smartphone and use many apps to simplify my life. If you know me well, then you know I am a “type-A” organizational freak. This app, Paperless is my absolute favorite and I use it on a daily basis. If I ever had to go to the grocery store without this app, it is highly likely that I would not know what to do with myself. Likewise, I use the calendar app to make appointments, a voice recorder app to record my voice lessons and reflect while practicing, a piano app to practice (since we don’t have a piano), the camera app since I’m too lazy to actually cart my camera around now, and so on and so forth! Actually, I can tell you confidently that this little mini computer posing as a phone makes my life better and easier on a daily basis. It helps me stay organized and maintain my A-type, organizational lifestyle while still somehow managing to stay just a tiny bit aloof.
There is ONE app, however, that I’ve found that I am much too addicted to, both on my phone and on my computer. If you didn’t already guess what that was based on this blog’s title, well, bless your heart. I’ve found that as a “dependent” (that’s code for not employed member of this team), it is so easy to fall into the trap of surfing Facebook. Since I’m starting my 8th year living outside of the States, I can tell you and myself that I understand why I’m falling into this trap. I have friends and family literally all over the world. It is so exciting to see what all of them are up to and to keep up with old friends and colleagues. Communicating is great with private and wall messages.
But, I’ve actually found that in the last few months, the majority of my time is wasted looking at articles that people post. Not the real news articles, the human interest stories. I definitely fall into the trap of browsing the news feed and then looking at mainly non-newsworthy articles. If I REALLY needed to know about which Disney Princess I am most like, I would probably look that up myself. And the day that I read this article, I started questioning if I really should wear yoga pants 3 days out of every week. I actually did ask Drew in a slightly paranoid manner if he was ok with me wearing Yoga Pants after I read that article. Drew just looked at me and asked me, “where do you FIND these articles?” Well, you know the answer.
Except for one of my (favorite) former parents in Kyiv, who posts news articles about what is going on in Ukraine, I’ve noticed that I don’t really get anything newsworthy out of the newsfeed. I’ve already chosen to make The Daily Show my extremely biased and entertaining news source with which to understand US news and Politics and as far as I’m concerned, most of what I’ve seen on FB is just as biased, but not as hilarious. (With the exception of Colbert.) I’ve found that all of this random surfing of the newsfeed has really cut down on my productivity. (Practicing, studying Italian, travel planning, cleaning… at one time in my life, I was actually a pretty good oboist!)
Another huge pet peeve of mine has been when many people are gathered together in a warm social setting. They greet each other, chat, there may be food or drink available, but inevitably, someone is bound to go on FB at some point in time during this scenario. My hubby is one of these people, who likes to be in constant communication with “the world.” Ok for him, but not so much for me… Until… I’ve noticed that I TOO have fallen into this routine!
I want to be present where I am. This is already hard enough with 5 thoughts going through my head at one time. I remember reading through Mere Christianity with one small group and CS Lewis said something to the effect of: (sorry for the paraphrase) A truly humble person will be known by his/her ability to listen. I WANT that ability! I want to be able to listen and be present in the here and now when I meet people.
So, what am I going to do about it? I won’t ever give up FB. I LOVE and APPRECIATE FB for my ability to stay in touch with so many dear friends and to network with new acquaintances. But what I will do is acknowledge that I’m a bit out of control and need to start limiting my screen time. I’m starting something called Facebook Fridays and I’m only allowing myself to get onto FB on Fridays. That probably means that I’ll also be writing my blogs on Fridays. 🙂
So, until next Friday, I look forward to communicating with y’all via Skype Calls/Chats, EMAILS, iMessages, WhatsApp chats and ACTUAL PHONE CALLS. And I would like to note for the record that I am not getting all “preachy-preachy” here and expecting anyone else to join me in my experiment. This is my personal journey to try and be more present.
Peace Out until next Friday!