Before I slept last night I listened to Michael Hyatt’s podcast. Michael Hyatt is the blogger behind http://michaelhyatt.com of which I am an avid fan. He has been giving tips and encouragement through his blog. And so useful are his posts that would you believe that 230,000 people receive his blog post in their inbox daily – yes, he makes one post a day. His blog posts are the only posts I allow in my email inbox and I don’t mind getting them because I find them extremely helpful.
As I was saying, last night while putting the kids to sleep I decided to listen to his podcast for the very first time. I may have been reading his blog daily but it took me a while to start listening to his blog podcasts. I’m glad I did take the plunge because I extremely enjoyed it. It was relaxing listening for a change instead of reading plus I can multitask better.
His topic last night was extremely interesting. It was about how the internet was rewiring our brains big time and turning us into “drug addicts.” It seems that our daily dose of internet – whether just checking our email, our friend’s Facebook status, or our favorite website can be compared to a person sniffing cocaine, for example, and having that instant but fleeting high because the brain will release doses of the dopamine which will give this effect. That’s the reason we, on average, can’t help but check our emails or Facebook every 15 minutes. We crave for that feeling and without knowing it we had become quite dependent and the long term result was it was making us depressed, feeling isolated, and unhappy.
His podcast is very timely. Last weekend, we lost our internet connection which gave me the time to reflect. Instead of missing the internet I actually enjoyed not having one. Now, don’t tell my husband because he was fretting about and got late for his online work for two days in a row because we had no connection. I, on the other hand was lucky I had no boss to answer to so I thought the experience was kind of liberating. There’s no email to check, no Facebook status to see, no blog post to read – everything was so simple and so perfect.
Because of this I realized that I have to be more purposeful in using the internet. When I hit my laptop’s “ON” button I have to have a list of goals to accomplish and then stop when I’ve accomplished it. If I can do something work-related offline then I should not hesitate to turn off my laptop’s WIFI to focus on the task better.
As for my social media accounts I will try to consolidate it using MyLife.com which allows me to manage everything – from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, emails – in one dashboard. I am only allowed to check this twice everyday – once in the morning and once at night.
The internet has been a great help to me and you all know that. But it has a dark sinister side that has now been emerging thanks to the long term studies that came out recently. Since going Amish is not really an option, we just have to be wiser in managing our connectivity. I know it’s not easy with our smartphones in hand the whole day but we can do it if we put our minds into it. Now that we know its unhealthy side effects the more we have to be more vigilant in managing our online time.