October 3, 2011 § 4 Comments
I believe all things in life require us to have boundaries. Some boundaries are easier for us to follow for ourselves than others. Even more so, it can be more attractive to create one’s that benefit our inner personal lives or our relationships to our advantage. But what about when it comes to inanimate objects, like our computers, smart phones, cars, and the like?
Since boundaries are usually a lifeskill that our parents teach us, it’s funny to imagine my mother giving me lessons on having self-control over surfing the Internet. Although I do remember getting in trouble for using chat rooms in secret at age eleven. Yet the rule was: don’t do it. Not “this is how you create an electronic boundary.”
So here I was, 27, and feeling all alone with these desires to constantly be looking things up, gaining more knowledge, reading other people’s blogs, checking my social networks and email, playing Words with Friends, seeing if anyone had commented on my status, replying to comments posted on my blog, listening to voicemails, adding things to my to-do’s, editing and uploading photos, putting things on my calendar, searching for new apps to create more distractions. Sadly I could go on. All day, in fact.
My smart phone–my beloved iPhone–had become an addiction. I used it as my BFF rather than actually connecting with those around me. Please note: most of my blogs are my personal convictions and confessions of realizing really how retarded I was being and my discovery and growth out of that. Not how I think you should do things, or live. Rather revelation I feel compelled to share with you.
Now that we’re clear on that, let’s understand where this addiction led me. After being on bedrest for the first ten weeks of my pregnancy, I became very used to being on my iPhone. I didn’t realize I wasn’t giving Audrey all the attention she deserved, as I have mentioned before. This realization led to a pendulum swing of needing to rid myself of said device in order to one, lower our cellphone bill and two, solve my problem.
I spent about two weeks processing my use of my electronic device; writing down numerous ideas, going to the AT&T store to check options, discussing it with Trev and other friends, writing out more thoughts, and taking fasts from even looking at my phone. I deduced what I used my phone for–meal planning, blogging, photo/video purposes, and communicating–and concluded days later that in and of themselves those were not bad things.
After speaking to the hubby about bill-lowering ideas (the man had ideas he was hiding) and lowering them the following day by $200 per his suggestion, we finally achieved our goal of having “almost” less expenses than income coming in. Shocking, I know. And thrilling at that.
This released a lot of pressure from my weary soul of my love/hate relationship with my iPhone. I allowed myself to see the good things about it and search myself for what I could do differently if it was going to stick around. This is sounding more and more like a relationship. And then it hit me! I needed boundaries with this silly device. So what did I do?
• Day 1: I only used it when I needed to (not even picking it up when it rang)
• Day 2: I checked my social networks when Audrey was napping
• Day 3: I discovered that I would only save $30/month by not having an iPhone on the cheapest AT&T Go Phone plan
• Day 4: I focused on Trever and Audrey and used my phone for the Whole Foods recipe app
• Day 5: I created a “schedule” of when I could use my iPhone: morning prior to when Audrey wakes, during afternoon nap, after my loves go to bed, and in necessary communication times and emergencies.
What does this mean? In a week I designed a system of boundaries to allow myself to view my gadget as healthy rather than abuse it and be codependent with it for my own selfish purposes. I think this can be done with anything or anyone. It isn’t healthy, but we do it. Perhaps my story has helped you a bit. I’m starting to be more and more grateful for what I have, what I can afford, what we choose to spend our money on, and accept that even good things can be used inappropriately, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it off. You can also create a thought shift and, in my case, some electronic boundaries.
Update: I wrote this blog prior to discovering on Saturday with Trev that we could shift some of our AT&T wireless stuff around and save $45/month. Thank you sales rep Reyes who’s looking out for the little guy.
Photo: This lil thing is worth creating electronic boundaries for.
Tagged: Bedrest, Blog, Blogging, Boundaries, Electronic, Facebook, Family, Google, iPhone, iPhone Addict, iPhone Addiction, Morning Sickness, Pregnancy, Social Networking, Surfing the Internet, Words with Friends