“If my phone dings, beeps, rings, or notifies me of one more thing, I’m going to throw it out the ducking window.”
That was a text message I sent to my husband not too long ago. Complete with “ducking” because my phone insists on censoring me. Let me live, phone. I was stressed out because every new alert from my phone meant that yet another person needed yet another thing from me. I was getting a knot in my stomach every time I heard that little “beep boop!”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no luddite. I love technology and social media. It helps me stay in touch with my family who is all spread out, it helped me to build a community of people I love (ahem, y’all). Hell, it helped me build a thriving business without having to leave the comfort of my yoga pants.
But like most women I know, I was letting the benefits of technology and social media get drowned out by the negatives. I had become a victim of our always on culture. Client sends an email? Let me get on that right away. Someone pinging me on Slack? Here I am! Instagram telling me how many people love the newest picture of my toddler? Well, I can’t just not check that, can I?
I had become stressed and anxious and was far from being present in any one moment.
Studies show that we chase notifications like a drug. They trigger the dopamine effect in our brains and leave us constantly chasing more. Worse still, they help to rewire our brains and even affect our sense of purpose. That’s some heavy stuff.
For me, the constant consumption of social media also greatly impacts my desire and ability to create. I’d find myself trapped in that dopamine chasing loop instead of writing, reading or creating something I believed in. Instead of just simply experiencing and enjoying the world around me.
Wouldn’t it be nice to feel more at peace in each moment? Instead of being a drone to our technologies and consuming, we could be out living a more carefree, adventurous life. Have you found a good way to manage technology (instead of letting it manage you)? I’d love to hear your tips. Comment below and let me know!