Recent Thoughts: Part 1

I've had three separate topics of thought bouncing around in my head lately. I can't decide if they're related or not, but I figured I'd put them all in one blog post to find out. Backwards? I'm sure if I asked an English teacher, he'd say that the purpose of writing a paper would be to denote pre-organized thoughts, and since I'm using a blog post to create order out of chaos...well, I'd flunk the English exam. Nevertheless, onward we go.

Number 1: screen time. For years, but especially lately, I've felt a somewhat constant dissatisfaction with how often I felt like I was tethered to my phone. I'd wake up in the morning and reach for it immediately, the brightness of the screen forcing me awake before my brain caught up. I'd use it while waiting for anything - Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin', all while standing in line at the grocery store, or waiting for Chaz to finish something at home. It would be the last thing I looked at before going to sleep, and again the brightness of the screen would keep me awake for longer than necessary. In other words, it was causing me to lose sleep and lose a connection with the world and I wasn't even recognizing it.

In addition, I felt like I had no opportunity for creative output anymore. Instead, I had exchanged that opportunity for the constant input of the thoughts and ideas of the rest of the world. And with no creativity left, it was easy to start believing that I had nothing worthwhile to offer. Everyone is more creative/thoughtful/exciting/fill-in-the-blank than I am, or so the thought process went, and shortly thereafter I'd be rolling in a deep mire of self-deprecation and pity like a pig in mud.

Over time I started to notice both my changed attitude about life and the disconnect with my surroundings. I didn't feel exactly whole anymore, and I think the constant input of noise from news articles, political blogs, Facebook status updates, and other things that I was using as an "escape" was actually causing me to forget how to look at the life right in front of me and engage myself in it. 

So I'm saying, "Enough." I established a 50-minute rule: no phone 50 minutes before going to bed and no phone within 50 minutes after getting up. Admittedly, that idea was stolen from an article I read (yes, on my phone shortly before going to bed), but it was a good idea and one worth implementing immediately. And within literally one day, I felt much more free. I guess phone addiction is real. Hi, my name is Jillian and I'm a phone addict. But at least I'm a recovering one.

This picture has nothing to do with not having a phone, because I took it on my phone.

This picture has nothing to do with not having a phone, because I took it on my phone.

Since I just took up four full paragraphs with just item number 1, the whole topic is clearly going to need to be three separate posts. No one wants to read nine paragraphs of me rambling. But I AM curious...has anyone else felt the same way? Have you figured out the right balance of life and technology? Tell me your secrets, people!