General Question

kevbo's avatar

How do you make a practice of managing communication technology so that it doesn't manage you?

Asked by kevbo (25644points) August 16th, 2010 from iPhone

PBS Newshour just ran a story on Hamlet’s Blackberry, a book that explores how canonical philosophers and authors wrestled with the perils of communication connectivity in their time (such as Thoreau’s observation of people’s addiction to checking for mail at the post office). The author’s solution for his own family is basically to turn off the Internet every weekend.

How do you make a practice of keeping technology and tech-based communication at bay so that your mind has room to enjoy/process the real world and your environs? How do you decide how much is too much? Do you have tricks to make the technology serve you instead of you serving it?

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9 Answers

janbb's avatar

I have been struggling with this and don’t have answers; my self-discipline has gone to pot. GQ!

KhiaKarma's avatar

When I start dreaming about it- time for a break. Or when I notice my husband repeating my name several times to get my attention I often have to take a hiatus. Painting and enjoying time wtih the hub brings me back to the real world.

rebbel's avatar

I close my (one) cell phone at nights, as to not be bothered by it.
The next day i will see if someone called me the previous evening, which isn’t very often since i don’t get much calls in the first place, but nevertheless i close it.
My second cell is open 24 hrs (if its battery isn’t empty, it’s an oldie) mainly because that is the phone i use to call and get called to/by my girlfriend.
Others know the number as well, but they will call me usually on cell nr 1.
If there is a emergency, i assume they will give nr 2 a try.
Email i check whenever i feel like or think of it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Normally (meaning when my husband is not deployed), we don’t spend much time on our computers. We’ll check our e-mail once a day and spend the rest of the time as a family. Occasionally we’ll get on our computers to play games together (we play NeverWinter Nights together). Right now, since the computer is pretty much the only way we talk, I feel like I’m glued to it most of the time waiting for him to get on and like I am constantly checking my e-mail to look for something from him. I can’t wait until he is home and I can get away from my laptop.

Bagardbilla's avatar

By establishing genuine human relationships. Tète-a-tète (face to face) time, which makes one want to ‘see’ and ‘be’ with the the other person and not just settle for a text, an email or a call.

Ron_C's avatar

I have caller I.D. and don’t answer if I don’t recognize the caller esperially if the number is blocked and have two filters on my email and erase all junk mail without reading as soon as it appears.

janbb's avatar

I practiced this morning. Decided I wasn’t going to visit any of my “time-sucks” until my lecture notes were done. Aside from a quick peek at e-mail, I succeeded! I think I’m going to try a “goals and rewards” system for the rest of the summer.

CMaz's avatar

I’m with @janbb on this one.

The first answer, not that one. ^

ninahenry's avatar

@ChazMaz haha. Well done @janbb. Apparently office workers spend collectively at least an hour a day taking sneaky peeks at twitter, facebook, personal emails, etc. I’d like to have more willpower over how often I check these things, but I really enjoy them.

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