Amber wanted to be the best mother possible, preparing well ahead of her firstborn’s arrival by searching the internet for words of wisdom from other moms. Site after site told her how to plan the perfect nursery, raise the smartest child, and still have enough energy to invest in her marriage.
The further she fell down the rabbit hole – even suffering from what’s called pinsomnia, losing sleep because you want to click on still another site – the more she felt she didn’t measure up. Her focus wasn’t on what she valued the most, her growing family. Instead, she spent hours every day checked out of her own life.
The Oola “A” Bomb – addiction – probably has you thinking about the opioid epidemic, alcoholism or the kind of eating that puts you in the 100-plus class at Weight Watchers. But give this a thought: how often do you see people at a restaurant, typing out a text instead of talking to each other? Customers at a fast food drive-thru who put their cell phone conversation on hold while they place their order. Or how about the parent at the Little League game who misses her son’s big hit because she answered a chime like one of Pavlov’s dogs?
How did we ever live without our electronics? We love the convenience our cell phones give us and the way Facebook connects us with others on their journey to an OolaLife. There’s a place for all of it in our lives, when we control it rather than let it control us.
At the same time, as Amber Cooke found out, time is the only commodity that is finite. “I am worthy of my own dreams,” she says now, and that’s where her focus lies today.
When’s the last time you called an old friend? Are you still up for a spontaneous soccer game in the backyard with your kids? Do you have time to listen to your husband’s workday laments, or to tell him what’s on your mind?
We all have the same number of minutes; how are you spending yours? Studies show that the average American spends 1.7 hours a day – that’s 102 minutes – social networking, and that we check our cellphones an average of 46 times a day. Between our jobs and sleeping, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else. What can you do to reclaim your OolaLife or at least strike a healthier balance with social media?
Go on a low-information diet. Can you give up television for a month? How about the internet for a week? Emails for a long weekend? The National Sleep Foundation says 71% of us take our smartphone, tablet, or computer into our bedrooms. Can you at least put it all to sleep for the night?
What form of social media steals most of your time? Does a quick check on Facebook stretch into hours? Think about using that time for a face-to-face encounter. It will probably leave you hungry for more, a good start to connecting again with your OolaLife!
Is your job extending into your personal life? Again, it’s a matter of finding balance. While our parents didn’t have bosses ringing in around the clock unless they were on call, emails and texts have made it easy for clients and co-workers to keep you punched in 24 hours a day. Feel as if you’re slacking off? Leave an automatic message, letting them know you’re away from your phone and you’ll return their email/text/call at your earliest convenience.
Ironically, if you’re serious about reining in your addiction to social media, that’s an app for that. Freedom is a popular one and that’s just what it delivers. Like Amber Cooke, you’ll rediscover what was lost when you headed down the digital rabbit hole. And through it all, remember…
Be grateful, have faith and go get your OolaLife!