Can you really be available at all times?
Wired, connected even addicted to reality, yes you can. We live in a connected world. Either you are the technical or non-technical person in the business world you are bound to connect to corporate networks. In our personal lives, we are always connected to the internet.
Are we too much connected?
Studies say we are. In other words, bots rule the Internet and non-deterministic algorithms shape our lives. This is where the internet evolved past twenty years. It came all good with some caveats such as data breaches, stolen identities, manipulation via social media and more. When we are reviewing social media feeds we don’t always realize what’s out there isn’t the latest and greatest. It’s what others wanted us to see over their interests in terms of marketing. Usually what we see is a result of user reactions shaped by in today’s actions likes, views, shares behind the scenes of sponsors.
If you are reading personal development books like I do, you’ll hear the following theme:
- Do not use the internet before and after your bedtime.
- Do not respond to emails interactively.
- Do not respond to emails you’re cc’ed on first.
- Do not post or share information you aren’t absolutely sure it’s true.
- Do not enable notifications blindly, remember to mute group conversations.
Do’s and Don’ts are several but what’s important here is how did we become connected 24x7x365 days + 6hours and leap seconds.
Is it really necessary to be connected to the world at all times?
In my case, I’ve felt like that for several reasons.
- My job required me to be on-call or part of the escalation for over two decades.
- Increased family responsibilities after having children for what-if scenarios.
- Immediate family and friends possibility of reaching for help.
- The social life that demands you to be available and responsible in some sort.
I categorize above responsibilities in different orders at times but it feels this is how our lives shaped as far as availability concerned.
Smartphones, not so smart people –
How to get away from staring at our smartphones is actually easy. Find yourself a hobby that will limit your availability, responsibility, and attachment to smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and computers. If you realized I’m not even mentioning TV sets as they were the dummy boxes of the previous era. In that age and time, the non-book reading generation was attached to TV via sitcoms, tv series and more. In reality, it wasn’t any different than today. The same rule applied as we have watched and listened to what others wanted. I find a very good use of TV time by watching lots of documentaries, adventure, and expedition series and some news if not at a major sports event.
Going back to hobbies, exercise is one of the best and cheapest hobby you can find yourself disconnected even for a small period of time. I will get into exercise and diet post details later.
Years ago, I started exercising for 15 minutes every morning before checking my phone. If the world failed apart when I was on sleep, literally if it didn’t ring or page, 15 minutes or less would not make a big change. If it’s that important phone should have made some noise to wake me up. Although I sleep very light my smart watch tells me that there’s a period about one and a half hour I’m out of the world.
I have several hobbies that keep me occupied and let me learn something new every day but I hope these tips also help others to be disconnected at times.