Thursday, May 8, 2014

Changing my internet habits

Oh internet. You evil, wonderful, time suck, wealth of inspiration and knowledge, creative haven and mean girl. I want to change the way I interface with it, both with the content out there, and with the gadgets that get me there. I've lamented about this before. I started drafting this post back in December. So it's been on my mind for a while. I've made some strides, but I've still got a way to go. At work they describe this as "continuous improvement." I kind of like that - if you continuously improve, you're never really done. You never really fail, because you can always improve. You can always change your outlook, because you can continuously improve. So here I am again, pontificating.

image source

I want to change the way I internet. (Yes, I just verb-ed that.) I just waste too much time on stuff I skim past, which gets me in a skimming habit, which means I'm totally missing both beautiful inspiration as well as the interactive community of other bloggers. Back in January (I guess I wrote a version of this post already!) I told myself that I should be a little more mindful about the blogs I read, and actually take the time to savor them. I've done a somewhat decent job! I've actually followed up on some blogs I've read on my phone to leave a comment or a thought when I'm back at a computer. I've pinned things that I'd love to reference in the future. I just keep trying not to let all the cool stuff just slip through my fingers! I've just been using that little "save for later" flag in feedly, and then I can flip right past all the news headlines or coupon deals or whatever and only click on the ones I'm interested in. (One other thing that helps me is that I'll create calendar events for myself for time sensitive things like those coupon deals. I email them to myself from feedly, and then I use gmail to create an event. Is that as roundabout as it sounds? I guess I like it because it tracks back to the source that has all the info, rather than me re-typing it all.)

Facebook. Eh. I have a history of waffling there. I want to connect, I want to bury my head in the sand, I want more friends, I want to hide 2/3 of them from my newsfeed, I want to connect, I want to be anonymous, I want to be offline...I want to see what's going on. I guess my latest attitude toward it is that I DO want to connect with people, but I don't want to share too much. Same as on the blog, I suppose. I also think it may be a good business move to have a presence there (I have a business page, but I still haven't figured out how to use it!). Plus I find out about some pretty cool stuff there, like the Grateful Hearts Giving Network, and I was able to attend their kick-off event. So, for now, facebook stays. My current attitude toward it is that I should at least try to be funny or interesting if I post, and I can only flip through headlines after I post something. Because I'm not a huge poster, this automatically limits the time I spend there! I can stay somewhat in the loop, without losing my whole day. And....well, I'm likely to change this attitude at will. Have before, will again!

Mean girls....that's one I might be completely over. Now, I will say that, like with most discussion boards I've participated in, I'm not a huge contributor. I pipe up if I feel like I have something constructive to say, or a question to ask, but mostly I just read. There's a particular snarky website that I loooove. It's like celebrity gossip, but about bloggers. I don't know, I guess I think it's interesting to read a blog, and then read the commentary? I guess I need a life? ha. During a period of unemployment, I paid it a lot more attention. When I would run out of commentary to read about blogs I already read, I started reading the most frequented threads about blogs I didn't read....but you'd sort of have to read the source material to get the jokes. So that devolved into a pretty big time suck. I've quit reading those threads and blogs that were just....something to read. Now I pop in from time to time on a very limited number of threads just to see if anyone else thought the same thing I did, but I'm not wasting my time on 25 pages of pointless snarking. Nope. No time for that.

Finally. The phone. I've improved maybe.....20% in my zoning out to this, that and the other app when I should be doing something else. Better. Not great. I think I need to come up with a code word for "get the h*ll off your phone," but something that sounds nicer. Less likely for the other person to get mad if I say it, and less likely for me to be mean when it's directed at me. Maybe if I let my husband in on my thought process, we can just say "phone" to each other, and we'll get the message. It probably makes more sense than saying "octopus" or something, and it's faster than "if you don't put that thing down right now I'm going to scream!" Check the weather, sure, fine. But the room, and the land of the living. (So after I discussed this post with my husband, he immediately latched onto "Bueller" as the official code word. Why? I have no idea. But he said it with enthusiasm! So! Bueller it is.)


  1. I think we need to institute the "Bueller" code in my house, too!

    Agree with you on limiting time on some sites - I know there are some sites that I found guilty pleasures, and in the end, they sometimes just made me feel bad, so I've stopped them cold turkey all together. I ALWAYS tell myself there's a creative endeavor somewhere that needs my attention instead!

    1. I'm so glad we aren't the only ones! I managed to give up celebrity gossip a few years ago and was so proud. Now I sort of think I just replaced it with blogger gossip! Sort of a lateral move lol