I am slowing moving back into the word of social media and email … and blogging … after a break which I needed as I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed after a really busy period both at work and at home. A period which required a lot of email, a lot of texts, and hours and hours of mindless scrolling through Facebook in a futile attempt to switch off my brain.
So a family holiday provided the opportunity to switch off the tech as well as the routine. I did not leave my phone at home, that would have been inconvenient. And I did have a lovely time reading blogs on my phone. I read more books. I stared into the distance a bit more. But possibly not as much as I would have done had I not had access to the internet at all. I still ended up down a few rabbit holes online (should I buy a jumpsuit?).
But most of all I checked email. I couldn’t get to email, I had logged out, but I checked and checked and checked. I am addicted to checking email and I had no idea. I knew I was in gander of checking work email compulsively, so I just don’t have work email on my phone or personal laptop. I thought I had didged the bullet. But in week one of the holiday, I cannot tell you how many times I saw this screen as I clicked on the mail icon of my phone.
Even knowing there was no email behind the icon did not stop me from compulsively tapping it. I have now hidden the icon from its usual clickable place on my homescreen. Let’s see how long I can reduce that compulsion to check. At least I now know it is a compulsion.
And it is a compulsion that I suspect is the one causing my headaches, neck ache, and my eyesight problems. I have worn glasses for nearly forty years now. My eyesight is rubbish and – despite the headline, it still is. For the past year I have assumed that my glasses are just never going to correct my sight properly now that I am getting older, seeing into the distance has been a struggle, lots of blinking and squinting was happening. Guess what – that compulsive looking at a small screen was stopping my eyes from focussing on things in the distance. Several opticians have mentioned to me how bad our phones are for our eyes – not the phones themselves, but that compulsive need to keep staring at them when our eyes are supposed to be taking a break and staring into the distance.
Driving down a familiar route yesterday I was amazed to see landscape that has been slightly fuzzy for ages now. Miraculous. And hopefully a motivation to stop that compulsive email checking and just give my eyes a proper break.