Use Your Devices- Don’t Let Them Use You

Happy Wednesday!

Well- 2021 has started off with a bang, huh?! So much to process this past week. How are you doing with all of it? Are you finding small pockets of time to take care of yourself- whatever that might look like? Please know that I am always here to listen, so feel free to reach out to me. 

Today’s blog entry was inspired by podcasts I have listened to and most recently, the movie, “The Social Dilemma.” However, this is not meant to be a lecture. If anything- I am writing this to hold myself accountable to the changes I am trying to make. 

I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down to respond to a work email or post something work related on my social media accounts and then poof- 45 minutes later, I am still there, scrolling through a topic that is completely unrelated. You know the rabbit hole I am talking about, right? I start by looking at new skincare products and I end up crying, watching a rescue dog being fostered back to health. How does that happen? Well, those little machines are way smarter than we realize or even care to know.

Of course I am incredibly grateful for these magical devices because you are able to read this blog right now- all of my thoughts, ideas and ramblings- on whatever screen you have in front of you. I have also been able to keep my business afloat with online product sales, during the time that my physical practice has had to stay closed. They have also allowed my children to stay connected and continue their learning- all from the safety of their own home. That is incredible. Technology is of course not all bad!!

What I have realized though, is that it’s about using your devices when you want to, not when they want you, because yes, they are really that smart. One change I have made in order to try and accomplish just that is turning off all of my notifications. My phone only yells at me when I am getting a text or a phone call. I might not respond to things as fast as I used to, but I get to it- eventually! 

Now I understand, your type of work or business may not allow for you to make that sort of change. Perhaps when your work day is over, you can turn those things off or even- dare I say- turn your phone off!! Woah- that might be crazy talk- buy maybe you can try it out. “Back in the day,” when businesses closed for the day, they were closed- am I right? 

After watching “The Social Dilemma,” I wanted to leave my social media accounts in the dust. It is so tempting. However, as a small business owner, it is near impossible not to have a presence there. I am, however, trying to focus more of my energy on my website and communicate more there, if possible. I encourage anyone that has a businesses of their own to do this. Facebook and Instagram are not yours and if, one day, they were to disappear, what would you have to call your own? 

As someone that did not even have my first smartphone until I was well into my 30s, I fully remember what life was like before our faces were buried in that blue glow. We actually got bored. We were more present. We were probably less distracted. We looked each other in the eyes more because we weren’t looking down trying to to “just check on one thing.” We went out to dinner and no one could text us. If you wanted to take “selfies,” you brought your digital camera, flipped it around and tried your best to get everyone in the picture, and then you were done. There was no “posting the image”....because there was no where to post it! Yes, I get it- they were different times- but I would like to bring just a sliver of that time into my life right now.

Over the past ten months, devices have been able to keep people connected during a time when we are social distancing, in quarantine, and not at school and work. I am not discrediting the value that this has played on our mental health. For someone like my mother who is 75 and cannot physically be with her friends and loved ones, her Zoom calls and Google Duo have been a life saver. Again, so grateful. So let’s use these devices for things we truly need them for and let go of the rest, because frankly- the rest of it doesn’t mean anything, when you look at the big picture. 

This was a quote I saw while watching “The Social Dilemma” and it really made me think twice:

“There are only two industries that refer to their customers as ‘users’, one is of course IT, the other is the illegal drugs trade…” — Edward Tufte


Thank you, as always, for reading yet another blog that has nothing to do with skincare! :)

With Gratitude-