Tag Archives: internet addiction

Giving Up My Addictions in Middle Age

cell phone addiction

cell phone addictionI stopped using my cell phone for several weeks last summer. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. What I really did was to stop checking my phone incessantly.

I didn’t do this voluntarily. My house was burgled and they took all of our phones save one. Which meant that for a couple of months  – while we waited for the insurance claim to come through – I shared my phone with my two teenaged children.

Sharing your telephone with two adolescents is worthy of a blog post of its own. If not ten. But that’s not what captured my attention most during that period. What’s really struck me was how amazingly freeing it was to not be tethered to my phone all the time, because someone else was using it.

This shouldn’t be surprising. I’ve read Andrew Sullivan’s amazing account of what it was like when he cut himself off from technology for a year, including a stint meditating in the wilderness. I’m familiar with all the studies detailing why digital addiction is a real thing and exactly how it works. Just this morning, I heard a report on the BBC about the fact that theaverage British adult checks his or her smartphone every 12 minutes.

I’ve always smugly considered myself to be above that fray. When I write, for example, I keep the phone in another room. I can go hours without checking it. When my family goes to bed, none of us brings a phone upstairs. (Hence, the robbery…cough. They didn’t even need to leave our living room to make off with plenty of bounty).

But still, it’s been instructive to realize just how often I check my phone and how much happier – and relaxed I am – when I’m not on it.

Which got me thinking – pre-new years resolution season – about what else I might usefully abandon – or at least curtail – in the interest of personal wellness.

Read the rest of this post over on Better After 50

Image: Rawpixel via Pixabay

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

On occasional Fridays, I point you towards some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

a. If you’ve ever worried that you’re spending too much time on screens…you are. Read Andrew Sullivan’s confessions of an internet addict over on New York Magazine.

b. If you’re into podcasts, I can’t recommend Nicholas Quah’s newsletter, Hotpod – about trends in the industry -highly enough. Hugely informative but funny and thoughtful at the same time. A model for all of us.

c. For those of us (cough) who have firmly entered midlife, I was delighted to discover the online magazine, Next Avenue. Some great material there.

d. Another great resource for bloggers is Bad Redhead Media’s #Mondayblogs. I plan to participate this coming Monday on twitter.

e. Finally, if, like me, you like to swear, here are five fascinating facts about swearing on The Conversation.

Have a great weekend everybody!