Saturday, 20 July 2013

Week 29 Update: An obsession that feeds itself.

This past week I set out to break (or at least put a dent in) my obsessive Facebook and email checking habit.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the urge to check in with social media is one that has infiltrated a substantial proportion of my waking moments. I would check whether I had time to read/reply/take in what was there; I would check whether it had been mere minutes since the last time I checked; I would check because I was procrastinating about folding the washing or doing some homework; I would check because ... well, because it was something to do.

It's not that I don't have enough to do - I'm a stay at home mum, a work from home mum, and a study from home mum. I love all of my roles, but excess time is not something I have in spades. So, then, why is this habit SO HARD TO BREAK?!

I think the answer to that question is this: because the habit feeds itself.

I check once. I like it. I check again. I still like it. I like to look at all that shiny goodness on this crazy piece of technology that is my smart phone. I like to know what my friends are up to. I like to know that I'm not going to miss anything (the irony of that last point is not lost on me...). The more I check, the more I want to check.

And that's the thing I've noticed this week. When I've successfully resisted that urge to check for an extended period of time, the urgency of my need dissipates. Suddenly, it doesn't nag at me in the same way. The voice inside my head saying, "Check me! Check me!" reduces in volume. Of course, resisting this urge - saying no to checking in for the umpteenth time today - is a constant challenge. Like any habit, it's ingrained, hard to shift, incessant. No reason to stop trying though, hey?!

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