Tag Archives: internet

Get Straight to work!

Ok, I have a confession. I have a habit of talking a big game here about what should or shouldn’t be done, but the truth is I still let a lot of my bad habits rule me. I did that post on internet addiction, and I really did well that day, but as time has gone on I seem to have forgotten my own words of advice. 
Here’s on interesting thing, I know I have pretty much no readers for this blog but I still feel like I kind of betrayed you. Or maybe I betrayed my blog? Either way, this is one reason I’d suggest you start a blog, it might help you feel more accountable.
Anyways, I find one of my biggest problems is giving myself too much leeway. I invent these times where I tell myself I’m transitioning from work to play. At school when I’m on the computer is a great example, I tell myself I’ll just check out cnn.com or reddit for a moment and then I’ll get to work, but that always gets  out of control. What I need to do is just get to work already!

I know I said to combine work and play as much as possible, but the point is not to try and multitask, it’s trying to convince yourself work is play or find things that feel like play but are actually helping you develop. If you need to do work, do work. 
Another big problem I have is getting up in the morning, I have a nasty habit of just laying in bed saying, five more minutes. It’s even worse now that I have an iPhone and can enjoy the internet from under my sheets. What I need to do is get out of bed as soon as my alarm rings, if I give myself even a minute to think about things it seems like I’ll always make the wrong choice under the influence of my nice warm bed.
It’s good to get that off my chest, and luckily I have a whole new week in front of me to try and live better, being more conscious about what I’m doing. Time for me to stop thinking that goofing off online is necessary preparation for the work day!

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Small Steps

I’m writing this in Microsoft word. I can tell because it just automatically capitalized the word Microsoft. Let’s try apple, looks like it doesn’t, but that’s not exactly fair. How about linux? Well, it doesn’t automatically capitalize it, but it does mark it as misspelled and suggest “Linux.”

Sorry, I’m easily distracted. You see, this is really switching it up for me. I don’t have word on my personal computers and so I’ve gotten in a habit of writing everything up in Google Docs. Even when I’m at school, like I am now, I usually use Google because that ensures that my files will pretty much always be available to me. That is until Google decides to rise up and enslave us and holds our files, email and personal information ransom until we bow down to them. But at that point I don’t think files like this will be my main problem.

So you’re probably asking yourself why I’m using word right now, well you probably aren’t but just play along. You see I have this habit of sitting down at a computer to get stuff done and saying to myself “well I’ve got to log onto Google if I want to write anything. And while I’m on Google I might as well check Gmail, and while that’s loading let’s just pop into Facebook and just see if I have any updates.” You can see how the little things like this can start snowballing out of control. The really nefarious thing is that my line of thinking isn’t exactly incorrect, if I did everything I listed it really shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. I usually only have one or 2 emails that are really interesting and it only takes me around 30 seconds to delete the emails from group on I allow myself to keep getting “just in case,” and it would take me a similar amount of time to check my usual Facebook updates. I start off with a bit of truth, that what I’m proposing should only take a few minutes, and using it to justify something I know isn’t true, that ultimately I’ll only end up surfing the web for 5 minutes rather than 25 or 50.

I’m constantly reminded of the story of the witches in Macbeth. Now, I don’t have Wikipedia and it’s been a while so I’m going off my head here, but I remember the gist being that the witches tempt Macbeth with dreams of taking the crown by telling him two true things and one untruth. This is similar to how “psychics” work, throwing out vague statements that you’re bound to see in yourself until they have your trust and then weaving fantasy based off the rather trivial truths they’ve established. The human mind is a messy thing and has a tendency of ending up with the wrong conclusion, and it takes a truly conscious effort to correct ourselves to keep from falling prey to the many appealing fallacies out there.

Right now I honestly feel a little like a drug addict going through withdrawal. Opening up a computer and not going straight to email and Facebook just feels wrong. This is a clear sign that something has gone pretty wrong with the way I’ve allowed my mind to be wired, constantly strengthening poor habits and allowing them to subtly take control.

They say acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to solving it, and while I definitely agree with that I’d say the biggest step is actually making a real effort to change your problem. There’s a lot of people who know they have problems, I think we all know some kind of addict who keeps talking about changing but never makes any little to no effort to actually change their ways.

I just put my hand on the mouse to correct a spelling error and without even thinking my hand moved the cursor to open up the internet. It really is strange to realize how much we allow our unconscious to drive our actions, pushing us through the same pathways we’ve always been down until we become entrenched in them.

But I’m still a firm believer that until you die it’s never too late to change. I could definitely just get depressed and start sulking about talking about how much I’ve wasted or how things will never change, focusing on my failures. But I know that won’t get me anywhere, you have to look ahead if you want to get where you go. If you keep looking to the past you’re not in control, your past is in control.

Today I say that I am in control. The old me may still come back to haunt my thoughts from time to time, but I will not allow him to control my destiny.

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Watching Your (Information) Diet

It’s been 5 days since my last post. 

I feel like I should have some really good reason for not taking 30 minutes and writing even a quick post these last 5 days, but I don’t.

Honestly I have trouble keeping track of the amount of time I waste with fluff and junk media.  I define fluff media as stuff like TV, movies, internet and the like that aren’t particularly bad, but aren’t particularly helpful either. I’m a pretty big sitcom fan and I’d put most of them in this category. We might need some of this stuff to give our minds a break, but I think most of us could do with a little to a lot less. My main source for fluff is reddit, which is a great site  in short bursts but it ultimately is a bit like drinking your media out of a fire house. After a while everything blends together, after 2 hours of reddit I’d have a hard time naming more than a tiny fraction of what I actually saw while browsing the site.

Junk media is like junk food, it actually hurts us. Lately I’ve been thinking of the news more and more as junk media. It seems like every morning I check the news and I’m hit with a torrent of bad news that just makes me feel bad. I already know the world can be a harsh place, is reading about the latest abuses all around the world really helping me? Some of this stuff is necessary in small doses so we have a better view of the world, but you can definitely get hooked on it and end up with a skewed view of the world.

Frankly I need to admit I’m an internet addict and cut back on it. Ultimately I think I can achieve moderation, but right now I’m having trouble. I’m going to cut myself from the internet for 3 weeks, until the end of my school year.

I’ll still be updating this blog, I need to get online to check a few things a day but ultimately this should only take 15 minutes. I’ll just write my blog posts in word and copy and paste them rather than writing them online like now. 

Ultimately though I want to be more conscious with my time and my media intake. Just like we need to watch what we put in our mouth if we want a healthy body I think we need to watch what we put in our head if we want healthy minds. 

I’ll leave you with the three broad

  1. Quantity
  2. Quality
  3. Usability

Basically the ideal items of a media diet would be thinks that are high quality while taking up a minimum amount of your time and being applicable to your daily life. This isn’t to say that you need to take a zero tolerance attitude, sometimes you just need to turn your brain off and give it a rest, my main suggestion is to simply try and be more conscious about what you’re taking in rather than going about it mindlessly.

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