Mindful Technology

I recently read a blog post from The Energy Project, “How to be Mindful in an ‘Unmanageable’ World“, about how corporate executives are focusing on using technology mindfully and with intention.  I love this quote from the piece:

“The addiction of our times is digital connection, instant gratification, and the cheap adrenalin high of constant busyness.”

I found that while watching X-man, I would check my e-mail or facebook page and stop being with him.  Of course, I was still physically in the room, but mentally I was gone.  I wasn’t checking my phone for any real purpose; the digital addiction was creeping into my life.

X-man may not know exactly what I’m doing, but I don’t like it when I’m with someone and he is always checking his phone.  If I don’t like it, I shouldn’t do it to X-man.

I’m working on how I manage both my personal and work time.  One of my goals is to appreciate and enjoy the days I spend with X-man.  Letting the “tech world” creep into those days doesn’t help me reach that goal.

Who wouldn't want to pay attention to this face 100% of the time?
Who wouldn’t want to pay attention to this face 100% of the time?

To combat the digital addiction, I’m trying to be mindful when I check my phone or computer.  I say to X-man, “I’m going to check my e-mail” and then give the reason why: looking for a client e-mail, making dinner plans, etc.  He doesn’t understand this yet, but saying it out loud makes me more aware of how much I’m checking my phone and holds me accountable to give a reason.  If I don’t have a reason, maybe it can wait.

X-man doesn’t need my full attention all the time, but I feel like I completely check-out when I’m interacting with technology.  Going into the “tech world” is much more engrossing than when I’m doing other things with X-man around: laundry, making dinner, writing (X-man is going crazy in his jumperoo as I write this).  When I’m doing those things, I’m not 100% focused on X-man, but I can interact with him more.  Even reading on my iPad sucks me in more than when I’m reading a physical book or the newspaper.

I heard a quote that “A child has to live in her generation” (Jill Ker Conway).  I need to accept that technology will be a bigger part of X-man’s life than I can imagine.  But I also want to show him that technology doesn’t have to be the main focus and way of interacting with the world.  And the best way to do that is by example.

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