Navigating Internet Use with Mental Illness - A Journal


#41

Yes! I use it to read and journal, and just prepare :slight_smile: and on the way back I usually just relax and nap a little.

@zeldajones no problem! I find having smaller icons and having a step between opening an app (opening a folder) is helpful.


My first week is short each day because it’s introduction week so I had some minutes to check on here :slight_smile:

The one thing I meant to post here: it is really amazing just how many people I always meet that have similar views regarding social media. I know a lot of people on here are surrounded by people really obsessed with social media but I keep meeting and getting along well with people who don’t have social media at all or who don’t use it, who are my age or younger!
Just so many people who think it’s a waste of time, boring, unnecessary … one other trainee also stopped using it because it made her look at screens more and worsened her eyes (she has glasses) and since she stopped using social media, the worsening stopped as well. Another here is very privacy focused and can only be reached via signal or telegram, not any of that other stuff. Another was talking about how so many young teenagers are only on their phones etc. And I‘m talking about an age range of 19-24 here! :slight_smile: there is a lot of awareness here. Most people aren’t on their phones, even the entire day, just the youngest one we have here who pulls it out at every break (she’s 15).

Still, we have a few that said they have zero hobbies except Netflix and/or gaming. We use this week for introduction to eachother (all trainees) as well, so that was a topic. I‘m pleased to say though that most people have very interesting and diverse offline hobbies! I‘m in good company.

Otherwise, well. I miss writing for here, I hope I can get some blog stuff done on the weekend.


#42

Another thing: I was worried about how I‘ll deal with the long commute and working 3 days a week, but for now, I can appreciate it. Lots of people at the new work place have almost as long commutes and do just fine, and chose to stay there after the traineeship ended. Shows me that it really is possible, and it‘s „only“ 3 years; it‘s so short in comparison to our life expectancy and the general universe, and I have my dog since 3 years now, I went to university for 3 years… it goes by like a breeze. It‘s okay to do it for that amount of time at least.

Very inspirational people generally. One of the people responsible for me works fulltime from Monday to Friday, goes to university on the weekend (both days) and waitresses on Sunday evening to pay a little better for university and the mortgage etc. I mean, of course I find it sad that one has to work so much to have enough money for stuff or really get ahead, but on the other hand it is inspiring and motivational what people choose for themselves and voluntarily go through; and she has a relationship and seems so calm and nice at work as well, not stressed at all. It gives me a lot of energy and security with what I‘m trying to do now (juggling relationship, household, dog, work, selfimprovement, leisure and school).

We make it possible somehow, we always have.

Edit: accidently mixed up what I was trying to say with my work days. It‘s counted as 39h per week because I work 3 days and spend 2 in school, it isn‘t 13h a day :joy:


#43

Fascinating! It might be interesting for you to know that my eyesight actually improved after I quit a full-time office job and stopped spending so much time on my phone. My eye doctor had to decrease the strength of my contacts by several decimal points. Although he didn’t want to commit to anything, he said my eyesight probably improved due to decrease in screen time and increase in exercise. Interestingly my eyesight also improved when I started using my MacBook instead of my iPhone (I think this is because of better resolution and the distance from my eyes). Anyway, I just wanted to assure you that it’s entirely possible to have eyesight get better when you’re not straining your eyes so much!

I’m going to have to go read back in your journal and find out what your new job is. It seems like you are around very inspiring and interesting people.


#44

I‘m just happy that you found a good place for yourself!

Regarding the fact that you found many like-minded people: I still think that the general way of looking at and using technology is different in Germany (and Europe as a whole) than it is in the USA and that Germans on the whole have a more skeptical and distanced relationship with technology, although this is steadily changing.


#45

Interesting! I totally believe that, it’s obviously very straining for the eyes.

I started work at a higher federal authority :slight_smile:


#46

Small update: I am currently looking at Smartwatches. In the past I have always ignored them because they seemed unnecessary to me, and in NoSurf discussions I always said that they seemed counterproductive to reducing your disruption and phone dependency.

The reason why I am looking at them now is because I have several problems with my phone.
I really like what is inside the phone and what the OS can do, and I like to have a bigger (than watch face) screen available for proper typing. I like the fact that it’s a mobile camera and Walkman to me.
However…

  • Smartphones are getting bigger and bigger. I always get the smallest option and it’s still too big for my taste, and at this point too big for my hands. I wish phones were like the iPhone 4 size-wise, but I have the 8 which is a giant.
  • I am so clumsy with that stuff. It just feels clunky. It’s good for using it when you need to and then putting it away again, but otherwise it’s a hassle.
  • As everyone knows, girl stuff doesn’t have pockets or they’re small, and ass pockets can bend your phone, it can be stolen or fall out, … but I am not a small handbag kind of person, and it just isn’t right to just throw a fragile smartphone into your backpack together with a giant water bottle and other stuff.
  • It’s annoying and also low key disrespectful to put it on the table, but where else really, as outlined above
  • I often have to carry it around with me, like in my actual hands, and I am always low key worried about losing it (accidenty leaving it somewhere, falling out, stolen, dropping it…) not because I am such a smartphone junkie but because it was expensive and I hate not knowing what time it is, or not being able to notify someone in case of an emergency.

This is where a smart watch could come into play.

  • Always on my wrist, cannot be dropped, sat on, left behind, crushed by my water bottle and books, etc.
  • Hands free. Easier on my hands because of size.
  • No pockets needed.
  • In case of emergency, I can still call and I see the time.
  • It can ping my phone. Since I always misplace it…

Basically, what I use my phone for is the Camera, WhatsApp, Alarm, Banking, Reminders, Music, Public Transport, Weather, Duolingo, Browser and Meditation.
While out and about, or during work, I maybe need the Time, Alarms, Weather, Reminders, and maybe Public Transport. I hate to pull out the giant phone from god knows where for these small features, or to see what notification it is (I barely have any, that’s why I definitely look if I get notified).

Some also really have nice specific useful features.
I’m still looking into what apps are available on which watch, since for example not having WhatsApp (support) would be useless. I definitely need an independent watch too, not one that needs the phone.

It would just be nice to not be forced to have this giant thing for these core features .

I’ll keep you posted.


#47

Just wanted to chime in that I’ll soon be writing an updated success story 8)

Good news: I have deleted Time Guard from my phone and tablet, and Cold Turkey from my computer.

I don’t feel like I ned it for this part of my life. I am literally so busy with all kinds of stuff, either work or school or hobbies or people or animals or household stuff, that there is only space for the really useful things anyway. My phone is pretty barebones anyway, I have a lot of self-control and just a huge disinterest in mindless browsing and most websites to do that.
I really focus on work on here or advice, so I don’t consider this time wasted at all and I just have short bursts of time anyway for most days.

I consider this a big spot in my journey - to not rely on blockers anymore. And I know, it sounds like I can only do this because I am distracted, but it’s not the case. I could browse during work, during my commute, in the evening, in bed, stay up late for it, … but I don’t. I could have plenty of opportunities to go back to mindless surfing and being addicted to it, I could make time for that, but I just don’t.

I enjoy doing offline stuff most of the day, especially stuff not involving screens. Much more than any website.

I don’t doubt that maybe at some point I need them back, and I leave that door open. No shame in that. But for now, I wanna take this step and really swim without floaties, so to speak.

Yesterday, I logged 1h 37min on my phone.
This past week, I logged 10 minutes on my computer.

This week I’ll have more because I am finally moving my blog section from here to our official blog and schedule them. But this isn’t mindless, this is productive and work for me.

I think starting now, I won’t update the journal that much. I never have, but I think it just gets boring to read the same stuff of ‘Didn’t spend much time on it again! Had a good offline time again!’, you know?

But I will update you if things go bad again, any new insights, new routines I’ll try out, and how my Apple Watch experiment will go if I really buy one.

For now, the next thing you can probably expect is just some discussion topics or a proper updated success story thread!

Small anecdote: I am really starting to believe Germany is a NoSurf country. Talked to an Apple employee today because of the Watch, and he himself uses ScreenTime as well, deleted apps he spent too much time on, and also prefers to leave his phone somewhere else and not taking it out all the time. We talked about how looking at your phone is rude when talking to another person or at the dinner table, etc. was really refreshing again to meet someone with the same ideas and views as me (us), and who uses the phone like me - and uses the watch like I intend to!


#48

This is so, so great and I sincerely hope that I‘ll once be able to state likewise :slightly_smiling_face:

The ideal end goal of a recovery journal is to end in s success story and happy ever after scenario. So pumped you got to here!


#49

This makes me want to pursue learning German after I reach B2 in French. There’s something very refreshing and disciplined about German culture.


#50

Quick update: The smartwatch experiment is starting now.

My ideal goals/expectations are to use my phone less.
Because I ideally keep it in pockets or bags or in other rooms, and I hate to have to go check the stuff to see if anything arrived. I hope it’s now handsfree and that it doesn’t make any sense to check now because it syncs with the phone and I feel when there’s a notification coming in (and I only have notifications for the important stuff), also no missed phone calls again!
I just think it could be handy to have this small device on me most times that is focused on the most important stuff, while having this small, unattractive screen you don’t really wanna touch all over, which is enough for the important stuff; and it’s better than to take the phone in my hand, which is much easier to use, bigger screen, has the browser, etc. and offers more distraction (even if it is still pretty bare).
Alarms, reminders, calendars, messages or calls from important people, and the few emails that deserve a notification - that’s the kind of stuff I wanna use it for. They aren’t a lot. I wanna reduce my phone to the device I do the actual typing and calling and programming of alarms, reminders, etc. but not much more.

I’m at work or in a school environment most of the time, and I don’t want the phone-proximity effect to hinder my learning (could the watch be its own proximity effect? I’m not sure, but I hope it is at least less effective) and it’s also rude and unattentive to use the phone at work. Smartwatches don’t have that image here, because it is still mainly a watch, and people usually know you’re not doing much on there.
Colleagues do leave the phone out on the desk, but I don’t see it as an invitation to do it as well. I am always careful when I am new somewhere or in a trainee position; just because I work there doesn’t mean I have the same rights as people working there since 10 years, in that regard. You wanna be seen as the reliable, hard working newbie, not a lazy smartphone millenial browsing Twitter.

My dog got sick 2 days ago and I had to leave him at home with my girlfriend and coordinate some status updates between her, me, and my mother in case he got worse and had to go to the vet or I had to leave work for him. That’s when I really missed the watch, because I could’ve just felt it live on my wrist when any messages or calls would come in; instead I had to ask my colleagues if it was okay for the day to leave my phone out and to check sometimes so I am still reachable. They were of course very understanding and allowed it, but it also disrupted my work because I was checking often in case I didn’t hear it vibrate (I never put my phone on loud, especially not there.
My coworkers do, but as I said, I don’t just accept this for myself). I would have preferred the security of knowing that I will definitely know and feel if there’s anything coming in, so the urge to check fades, and I could’ve left my phone in my bag because incoming calls would be shown on the watch and I could quickly excuse myself and go outside for the call. I just find that a lot more discrete, respectful, and less likely to create a bad image of yourself.

So yeah, I’m looking forward to that. I think the urge to check will still be there for a while because of 'does the sync REALLY work? What if it missed something?" but once I saw it a couple times, it should fade.

This is just the beginning though, because for now my watch can only be used together with the phone. My current cellular provider doesn’t offer MultiSIM, but I plan to change the carrier and get MultiSIM support so my watch can get cellular and work completely without the phone, so hopefully at some point in the future, I can leave my phone at home a lot more often :slight_smile:

Also, if anyone is curious, it is the new Apple Watch series 4 that was announced a little over a week ago; if anyone is interested in a more personal review/impression instead of reading all the magazine reviews or watching YouTube unboxing videos for 6 hours, hit me up.

I’ll keep you posted.


#51

It’s really intense how feelings that I had when I started NoSurf can return so quickly. No relapse or anything, but I remember when I started NoSurf that I still had this intense urge to check something, anything, and to just scroll and see stuff. I haven’t had that urge in months now.

Now my girlfriend was gone for 3 days and I was completely alone at home, and it’s been really beneficial that I don’t have any social media left (I do not count this forum because I have a different relationship to it and let’s face it, it is not nearly that addicting to make me wanna scroll it and there’s not much going on) because that intense urge came back! I didn’t feel so powerless like I did back then, it was just like… there’s nothing to scroll buddy, move on, do the dishes or whatever.
It’s like it’s still a learned behavior, ingrained. It’ll come back when you’re reminded of how things were when you still were addicted, is my guess.

Being near people you love is effortless. You can just hang out saying nothing and doing your own thing, but their presence is so soothing and it still feels social and just… right. You can just sit next to them after a hard day and it doesn’t take much energy, it recharges you even. But alone, there’s a lot of triggers to use technology again because actually reaching out to people asked effort and reason and is limited to if they have time or see your messages, so it is easier for us to just passively be social via media, or turn on Netflix.

I tried to redirect this urge to be social into something beneficial, like reaching out to some people again, voice messages, calls, texts, etc. And I did limit myself to only one Netflix episode per day those days. It was more like a nice treat that way instead of giving in. I love all kinds of reality prison shows but never get to watch them anymore because of other matters and spending time with my dog and girlfriend, so these 3 days I allowed myself that before walking the dog and going to bed. It did fill the hole, and maybe Inshoukdve read a book, but I felt fine, I didn’t stay up late for it, I didn’t mindlessly consume either.

I just know that my “success” is situational. I had the luck of moving away from the biggest reason behind my bad internet usage, and I am busy with a job and school and a dog, and I can focus on my girlfriend at home, and I have a bigger motivation to do chores and stuff when she’s there. I have plenty to choose from that isn’t online or social media, and I usually don’t have to be alone. I am surrounded by people all day, from the moment I get up to when I go to sleep. And I need that, I need the company, the accountability, the distraction from the distraction, the wholesomeness, the ability to just focus on other people and forget all the media’s and games an streaming services. What my problematic internet use boils down to is feeling lonely, and searching the easiest way to relieve it. I don’t have to do that now, but maybe at some point, I will be lonely again. And I know that will be another NoSurf Problem to tackle.

There is no such thing as ‘making it’. Life is always gonna throw situations at us that make us more likely to choose the worse choice, to let ourselves down, to resort to our bad behaviors, and start as zero. We don’t have to, it’s not inevitable, but it’s likely. There will not be a point that you have to cross and then you’re immune to it forever. You might be immune to it for a while, but your circumstances can change, what if you lose your job and the shame and guilt of it makes you waste time with games instead of seeing the 100th rejection? What if you get sick and most you can do is stay in bed? What if your partner leaves you? What if you have to move back home again? What if you get a terrible new roommate?

All we can do is hold on and adjust and try to tackle the problems behind it and learn good outlets and substitute behaviors.

For me, the problem is that I adjust badly to having so many people around me to having none. I like quiet, and I like to be by myself to recharge sometimes, but I don’t necessarily like to be alone, or even lonely. A quiet house in the afternoon is not a problem compared to a quiet house when it’s dark at 8pm, or when I’m lying in bed. But that isn’t fixed by being online more or passively scrolling or having Netflix run in the background while I cook (I don’t, just examples), it’s fixed by making plans or calling people or focusing on the next day or reminding myself how many people I met and talked to today. I can take a walk instead, or focus on a book, or shower, or play with my dog, or use the quiet to embroider. I can just remind myself how important it is to sleep and that the next day with seeing my usual people comes faster if I shut my eyes now.

And that’s the important thing, to always know what to do instead and what the underlying problem is, not to try and get to a specific point. Life throws punches, and it has the potential to ruin whatever setup you use to reach your NoSurf goals. Suddenly they’re not enough.


#53

Small update about my smartwatch experiment.

I feel like it was already relieved about 80% of stress I had with my phone. I’m gonna write a proper neutral blog post about how smartphones can cause you stress just by mere presence, but this is just about my firsthand experience with it and how I personally relieved it now.

As I said I used to be convinced that smartwatches would make phone addiction worse. Then my life circumstances and demands and relationship to my phone changed and my views did, as well.

The problems I had with my phone were

  • Leaving the phone somewhere and not knowing where I put it. The space I live in now is big, and since I don’t have stuff to check anymore and am not addicted anymore, I forget about it. Alarms, reminders, messages from important people are lost on me like that.

  • Too big to fit in most of jeans or jacket pockets, easily falls out or feels super insecure to put there. Girl pockets, man.

  • I was often paranoid about if it has fallen out of my pockets or was being stolen out of it without me noticing. Everyone knows this, if not with your phone, then with your wallet: Hastily patting your pockets down. Feeling a jolt of fear go through your body when it isn’t there, only for you to realize it is in the other pocket.

  • It’s too fragile for backpacks or to put together with keys, and I don’t want a small handbag or several small pockets inside a bag. I am a backpack type of person, with lots of stuff in it that could crush a phone.

  • Scared of dropping it. Into the toilet, down the stairs, down a bridge, onto the floor… and breaking it. Even when you lose the mental connection to the services on your phone, the phone itself is still so important because it was expensive and repair is expensive as well. I mean come on, no NoSurfer with a new iPhone would just smash it on the floor.

  • Scared of leaving it somewhere accidently (like pulling it out of my back pocket when I’m in a restaurant toilet so it isn’t dropped, putting it on a nearby shelf, and forgetting it there. Or leaving it in the seat or shelf in the train. The waiting room at the doctors office. The bank terminal.)

  • Taking this huge thing out every time it vibrates, or I think it vibrated. Sometimes I check even if it hasn’t vibrated in case I didn’t hear or feel it.

  • It’s rude to leave it on the table, or even forbidden at work. But if I don’t wanna bend my phone with my butt or make it fall out on the floor behind the chair and I don’t have a proper bag or jacket pockets, it has to go there or I ask my girlfriend to put it in her bag for me.
    At the same time, while I am at work I have to coordinate getting my dog taken care of (fed, walked) by the people in my life. Recently he has been sick so getting updates was important in case I had to leave work early or schedule a vet appointment. Obviously it sucks at work to be constantly checking your phone in case there’s something going on.

Now a lot of that is not the case anymore.
No phone on the table, I get the most important messages and notice them immediately and rest assured that I actually saw the messages I need to see. Reminders and the calendar events are actually useful now because I see them in time. I don’t need to take the huge phone with me with all the above stressors just to have a decide to see the time… and to call someone in case of emergency, once I get multiSIM support from my provider and can use the watch as it’s own mobile device, so the phone doesn’t have to be present for any mobile data stuff. I can leave my phone away even more. No phone on walks, short trips in the city, grocery shopping, going out to eat with my coworkers; I don’t have to worry about the phone range anymore. The only thing I need there is the ability to call and see the time, and that is fulfilled without the clunky rectangle.

Then, the annoying stuff will be 100% gone and the devices now finally really serve me instead of being a hassle. I know some people need hassle to use the phone less, but that really isn’t the case for me.

I don’t wish though that I bought it sooner or anything, it was really just because the uses suddenly made sense to me relating to work, managing my dog, managing the household (“take out the garbage bins” reminders anyone?) and the effects on my phone problems were a nice add on. I don’t think this is the perfect solution for everyone but it works for me. I know it wouldn’t work if I still had social media or notifications for a lot of stuff. The only notifications I get is from my mother, my girlfriend, and my own reminders. If that wasn’t the case, the phone would of course turn into another distraction and enhancing phone/social media addiction, in my view.

That’s just the update after almost ~2 weeks with it. Will update again in a few weeks.


#54

Surfing the web can be a real, proper addiction, even though it’s not viewed as such outside our small NoSurf bubble here. Everything you describe is typical of addictive behaviour. Whatever one is addicted to, it usually is used as a coping mechanism for uncomfortable or even unbearable situations. For you it’s feeling lonely and masking that by wasting time away on the net. For someone else it might be stress at work or in a relationship and drinking alcohol.

The sad thing is that you’re right when you say that it never really goes away. Through numerous repetitions this behaviour is deeply engrained in our brains and if all else fails it will fall back to it as a tried and true coping mechanism. What we can do is build up a layer of alternative and non-destructive learned behaviours to cope with likewise situations.

It’s soothing to read all these realizations about what really makes you tick. I hope it gives you the strength to carry on filling up your hours with things whose memory you’ll cherish.


#55

Thank you @horatio :slight_smile:


What I’ve been currently experiencing is just this… complete looseness from social media, and it is nice. I experience it in the form of some of my opinions changing slightly.
The internet is dominated by Americans and the American point of view. It is encouraged, sometimes expected to view everything through the cultural lens of the US. Getting politically involved or educated online seems to worsen this a lot, since a lot of political discourse about a range of topics is heavily colored by American standpoints.

And at some point a few months ago, I started realizing and questioning that. I am not American, I also don’t live there, so why am I forced to conform myself so much to American expectations in online discourse? To what is and isn’t a slur, to what is and isn’t problematic, to what is and isn’t relevant, to who belongs and who doesn’t…
(To whom this sounds cryptic or unrelatable: one example would be the never ending discussion who “qualifies” as belonging to the LGBT group. Arguments almost always revolve around American LGBT history and what groups where involved there and which weren’t, completely ignoring other countries’ LGBT histories. This led to people online trying to enforce who belongs and who doesn’t, for example telling people including asexual people under the umbrella term is wrong, even though this view is probably very exclusively tied to American history of the LGBT movement).

When I was active on social media, I’d see and judge things happening to or around me in context to online things or things happening far away from me. That’s an effect social media has, connecting you so much with different continents and parts of the earth that it feels like it hits home, even when it doesn’t. It made me question what that means for our identity and respective cultures.

Now without social media colouring my thoughts like that, I judge everything based on my experiences directly around me, and that has led to some of my opinions changing. It’s like I have a more realistic and useful view of the world around me now. Limiting or leaving social media is really a good way to effectively cut yourself off from popular opinion that might be completely nonsensical in your cultural context but you can’t see it because discussions, criticism or downright harassment from some online “activists” has pushed you into a kind of groupthink state.


#56

I’d assume most people can’t relate to that but I get what you mean. My opinions on the LGBT community changed quite a lot as I distanced myself from online LGBT spaces as well.

I am okay with whatever opinions people have of things so long as they don’t use it justify hurt ing people or robbing them of rights and/or basic levels of respect. And of course, both sides of the equation on multiple issues are suspect to using their opinions as justification to disrespect/hurt others. Live and let live is the best way to go in my opinion. I take care of my happiness while you take care of yours.

For example, I’m an ex-Christian. I’m only 4 years out of it. The idea of me ever returning to a religion seriously scares me. Religious people have done some pretty mean things to me before, but I don’t hate them. I actually really love religious people. I know that they’re just chasing happiness in life as I am, it’s just the way they do it is different than the way I do it. The fact that a few religious people have used their religious beliefs to hurt me doesn’t distract me from all the exceptional and respectful religious people I meet day to day. In fact, one of my best friends is Muslim. Had I used my past experiences to judge her, I would have never gotten to know how awesome she is.


#57

You’re right :joy: I just couldn’t think of a more clear example in the social justice sphere than that. For Americans, maybe an example would be to get so caught up in negative news articles about the Europe migration crisis that it feels like you’re affected as well and you judge anything regarding that with that context instead of your own cultural context; but cutting out those news makes you realize it has zero bearing on your life and online news have just pulled you into a specific mindset they reinforced over and over again.
This would still not explain fully the kind of Americanization countries go through because of the Internet and homogenizing public opinion to American standards, but it would at least explain how social media and related news can really mess with your opinions and how you judge your surroundings. The internet connects us a lot, so an alleged apocalypse can suddenly seem like its next door. It’s only when you cut yourself off that you realize there are no traces of that apocalypse in your everyday life.
I used to get so outraged about any news coming from the US, like anything happening there would be culturally relevant to me in my everyday life. Like that would mean things were automatically worse here too. But the reality is, what a Mr. Kavanaugh does or doesn’t will not make the situation worse or better for women over here, but with social media, I would have believed that it does.


#58

Oh okay, I get what you mean. I see that happen here in Canada too. Forgetting about American news has also considerably lowered the amount of stress in my life as well. However, I see that others here in Canada seem to be addicted to the outrage of it all. Wish I could help them, but when I bring it up they act like I’m being crazy or something :neutral_face:. They’re not addicted, they’re just trying to stay informed right?


#59

Hey, just dropping in quickly to announce that I have made the decision to leave the NoSurf team yesterday, and after talking about this with Nik, I am now announcing it here too.

What that effectively means is that I am not gonna partake anymore in any activities or decisions surrounding the management of this place, I will just be a normal member on the forum. Anything happening past this point is not my decision and I can’t do anything about it.

I won’t delete any of my stuff, and I still plan on being active here. I am just not responsible anymore of any of the background stuff.

The reasons for this are multifaceted;
for one, I don’t have enough time to properly dedicate to this place as a mod, just as a member contributing to discussion, and while I love and support the ideals of NoSurf (and live them), it is a side project for me, not a main thing due to my actual career. So the amount of importance I can give to it is not enough in my eyes.
Other reasons are rather personal and relate to working together and decisions about the future of NoSurf. I don’t agree with it, so I decided to take no responsibility for it and leave. No hard feelings though, I still like the members of the team as people.

If you want, you can ask for more details either here or at smellit95[at]web.de :slight_smile:


#60

Relating to my smartwatch experiment, I finally got my smartwatch to be largely independent from the phone, by the way. Own cellular connection and all that.

I kinda wish it was even more independent but that is not possible with the watches available right now. The positive thing is: I can really leave my phone at home when I am in the garden, going on walks, going to restaurants etc. I can leave my phone in my backpack 99% of the time at work as well, and I can leave it in a designated phone basket where I also leave my keys when I get home. :slight_smile:

That means no stress anymore of dropping the phone, losing it, leaving it anywhere, no fiddling with it, no annoyance with how big it is and where to put it, no problem with small pockets that can’t fit a phone… not being rude having to put it on the table, nothing to hold in your hand anymore. All the stuff I mentioned in the other posts.

And no matter if smartphone or dumbphone, most of us usually pat ourselves down to make sure we got our phone with us before we leave. This is especially relevant if you want to feel safe, or need to use apps to navigate public transport, or just want to have a watch, or need to use the flashlight outside, etc.
For me, what I need outside is the ability to call, be reached by text or call, and to see the time. I could technically do without the rest. So being able to just leave without making sure I got the phone and searching it is kinda cool, even though it’s just a small thing. Weirdly enough, it almost feels nostalgic, or like leaving a heavy brick at home. Completely unrealistic and weird, but that’s feelings for ya I guess.

Now with it having its own cellular, I don’t need the phone to call and I can see when my coworkers and friends wanna meet without having to have my phone on me at all times. We meet in front of the cafeteria and not taking my phone with me would cut me off from sudden plan changes (different time different place) and the watch wasn’t in range of the phone; but now I see that without having to carry the phone with me like a clutch.
Also, most stuff on the phone you don’t have to reply to anyway, or can reply with a quick “ok” “yes” or an emoji. For anything bigger than that, I can still get the phone.

And yeah, the phone basket is nice because you can just drop the phone off like a tool you don’t need anymore right now. And if you do wanna get it, there’s the act of having to get up and get it. Kinda keeps you from mindless acts. I don’t technically need that anymore but I am mentioning this as a strategy for others :slight_smile:

Sooo… Phone stressors are being avoided, and I get the most out of the smartphone that otherwise would’ve required me to put it on loud or carry it with me at all times or check it often: reminders, alarms, calls, notes like todo lists or habit tracking… you get it :slight_smile:

Feels better now to have optimized it like this. There’s just nothing mindless about my current setup and it requires me to be more present and do other stuff, instead of being able to reach the phone quickly or to be grabbing it simply because it is in my field of vision for example. It can really break these ingrained habits of picking up the phone, unlocking, seeing nothing is on it, putting it down and then doing it again that some of you probably struggle with.

I do have to use the phone to adjust some settings or to put in new reminders/alarms etc and this is something I hope will not be the case in the future and the watch can stand entirely on its own regarding that, but it’s a great start.

Also: My phone and watch last incredibly long. My phone lasts more even though there’s the watch connection draining it because I am on it much less. Not having to have it on me means no checking if I might have missed something, means less options to get pulled in. My watch holds up well over the suggested 18 hours, it lasts 2 days, because I really use it for productive stuff and not games or hours long calls.

I don’t use my computer at all at the moment, to be honest. And every time I do have to use it I kind of dread it, because there’s anxiety coming up with it. I am not blaming the computer, just bad old memories that cause these feelings. It’s like bad old behaviors that were toxic to me are connected to that acitivity: sitting in front of the computer all the time. All those nights and days wasted, anxious, feeling guilty, crying, writing about my bad experiences, making awful experiences online, being stressed, using it to cover bad feelings, the overload online, bad news, cruel images… it’s like when I have to sit at home in front of a screen again, the anxiety of that comes back.
I don’t have that at work where I work on a computer as well, mind you. It is really powerful what connections trauma and negative experiences have in your brain.

That’s that for now. :slight_smile:


#61

Today’s musings: how social media just makes it so much easier to not put any effort into our relationships.

The kind of info many people share on social media would usually be reserved for close people; friends they choose to tell about, people close to them being present while it happens, etc. But it’s so easy to just give people a link or accept a friend invite that people quickly get access to someone’s life. Depending on how much they share in that, that has different consequences. If the profile is basically bare bones and only used for communication or groups, it’s different than a person uploading a lot of pictures or posting a lot of personal statuses and locations.
And I feel like most of us have used this comfortable way of getting to know a person without putting in the required effort to get close to a person for that kind of info. Instead of meeting regularity or calling and getting to know them piece by piece, we have a persons likes and other info just laid out for us to ‘creep’ on.
I also feel like sometimes it can cheapen convos because some people will maybe refer to their online presence for you to know a specific thing. Like “Duh you don’t know what bands I like? I always post about them on Instagram”.

It’s always interesting to get to know a person but I feel like it’s cheapening the experience of we just access it so impersonally, filtered, and all at once.

And sometimes, I can’t lie, when someone asks for my social media accounts (which don’t exist) I feel a small bit like they wanna be part of my life and know so much about me without going through the “hassle” of talking to me or putting in the time for me to slowly open up about more and more things to them. Especially when they never message me on WhatsApp but ask me for Instagram in real life. It’s like they wanna have my pictures and see what I’m up to in real time, but they never come around to ask what I’m up to and find out that way.

It’s like personal interaction and building up intimacy over time is not cool anymore.

Edit: to make it short, we also allow instant gratification into our relationships and I don’t think that’s great.