Cybernaut 

Balancing your e-life

Page 2 of 3

I've been just as guilty of embracing electronics over people. At one point a week ago I looked up to see my wife at work on her computer and my daughter watching a movie on our iPod Touch while I was alternating between watching the hockey game and fiddling around on my laptop. It bothered me at so many levels, yet I'm not sure what I can change it - people bring work home with them these days, it's the playoffs, and it was raining outside so my daughter was stuck inside (and I told her she could watch a movie later if she was good).

But change we must if we want to be happy. It's a simple affliction to fix, and you don't have to go full Luddite to do it:

Number One, turn your cellphone off when you're meeting friends and family. Unless you're expecting a life-changing call there's really no reason to leave your gadget on. Make that a rule among friends when you go out.

Number Two, leave your phone at home sometimes. Yes, there are safety issues to consider, but if you're driving three kilometres to buy grocieries then you're probably going to be okay. If you bring it you'll invent a reason to use it, so don't.

Number Three is to limit your recreational computer/video game/TV time to a reasonable amount, like an hour a day. If you go three hours one day, then miss the next two days' worth to even things up. If you're watching playoff hockey then track those hours and make them up over the summer - the players themselves are out golfing and you should be too. There are tools out there like parental control settings on video games and downloadable timers and programs that you can use to moderate your intake.

Number Four is to make a list of things you should probably be doing instead of wasting time - exercising, housework, cooking healthy meals, recreating, learning an instrument/language/skill, reading a book, etc. Some legitimate activities do require computers - e.g. art and design, writing, making home movies, paying the bills and keeping a budget - but if that's the case you should focus on doing the thing itself and not get sidetracked, which is easy to do.

Number Five is to purge occasionally. Go camping for a week or on a holiday and leave all your gadgets behind. Some withdrawal symptoms are normal, but at the end of your e-cleanse you should have a greater perspective as to what is truly important.

Readers also liked…

Latest in Whistler

More by Andrew Mitchell

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation