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If you had time, what would you do with it?

Thursday, September 15, 2016



Today I woke up, washed the dishes, got the kids on the bus and did my usual sitting with some tea, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest while I get out of my morning groggy state.

While reading through the comments of a Facebook post, I saw a guy arguing his opinion back and forth with random internet strangers. It was a really long thread. How long? 8 hours! This guy sat on his phone and argued with internet strangers for 8 hours of his life.

I often wonder, when I'm an old lady (I hope I get to be an old lady!) and my time is running out, how much will I regret the hours spent staring at my phone? How much will it matter that someone I didn't know said something I didn't like? When I'm laughing at silly memes, how many funny moments of real life will I miss? If I took the hours from a week that I spent on social media and did something else with it, what could I do?

In this guy's case, he had 8 hours. He could drive somewhere he's never been and explore it. He could make something beautiful, connect with another human, see every priceless work of art at a museum. He could cook the most amazing meal he's ever had, take a class and learn to do something he's always wished he could do. He could have had an incredible, fulfilling day that he'd remember as an old man when his time is running out. He'll never get that time back and for every minute that I spend scrolling and liking and commenting, I'll never get it back either.

Social media is really great in a lot of ways.  I get to see what my friends are up to, see people's pretty vacation pictures or funny kids pictures, find fabulous recipes and inspiration for crafty things. I share things I've made or done and connect with people that I otherwise would have never met.  It's great! But I find that I spend more time "finding inspiration" than I do actually doing those things. It's addicting for sure. People make jokes about "come hang out with me and we can all stare at our phones" but its really not funny. Its sad.

A few weeks ago, I downloaded a new app. What I can honestly say is the only truly "life changing" app I have ever had. It's called Forest and its designed to keep you off your phone. You set a timer for 10 minutes to 2 hours and in that time, a little tree grows. If you mess with your phone before the timer goes off, the tree dies. For growing full trees, you get points that you can use to buy cute, pretty trees. It's like a game and in order to get your points, you just live your life! Since I started using it, I've been more productive in my housework, I have more time for my crafting, I go for walks, read books. I feel happier and less stressed out because my work is done and I didn't spend my day annoyed on Facebook. The best part is, it shows you how much time you stayed off your phone and at the end of the day, I see all of the hours that I spent living and enjoying life.

I have to go now, I have trees to grow and an awesome day ahead of me. I hope you do too!

4 Responses to “If you had time, what would you do with it?”

  1. This this this! Even though I love blogging and instagram, my web presence is fairly minimal. I'm off of Facebook and my phone games are Neko Atsume and Duolingo, which are relaxing and not time consuming -- and the latter is educational, so even if I spend hours on it, they're not wasted at all! -- I hate feeling like my entire identity exists in the cloud. Forest is such a good app!

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  2. You are so absolutely right, there are too many online addicts. And I really mean addicts. Life has become very superficial and unsocial with all that internet sociality. And especially youngsters believe in that perfect life everybody is showing. I work in front of a pc all day, so I truly enjoy my off time when I'm at home, and on my Wednesday (my weekly off day) I am never online. I craft and do creative things and relax reading a vintage magazine. I don't have an addiction problem, so I don't quite understand it. I only read blogs (yours!), take a look at my webmail and my ETsy shop as a break during work. Have a lovely weekend, dear. Happy tree-growing. :)

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  3. "But I find that I spend more time "finding inspiration" than I do actually doing those things. "
    That basically sums up my entire experience with the internet. I spent all my free time on the internet, saving tutorials that I never actually got to doing. And window-shopping other people's lives, and focussing on what I didn't have instead of what I did. Plus my brain was like it had ADHD for the internet, I couldn't go 3 hours without looking up random pieces of information, usually ending up for much longer on it than I intended. Finally, I knew something had to change, and when we moved to our new appartment, we just didn't get internet. So, I've been on a sort of internet diet, so about 1-2 hours of internet time a week (I don't have a smart phone, it'd be like giving a hip flask to an alcoholic). I felt like I was going crazy for 2 months. Then it just hurt for another 4. Now, I finally feel peaceful, and I feel like I'm actually able to live in the moment, to live my life. I hope that one day when we do get internet again, I'll be able to use it moderately, and still get to actually live my life, and make things!! (instead of perpetually adding things to my 'to do' pinterest boards)

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  4. What a cool app! I find that I'm kind of feast or famine in my phone use. I may be on it a lot, but as soon as I get tunnel-visioned on a project I completely ignore it for hours on end. Generally I realize that at the end of the day when someone has frantically called me or texted me twelve times and I missed it, haha!

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