Every night after I get home from practice, I start on my homework. Click. I check my email and respond to whatever I need to take care of. “Oh, I haven’t checked Facebook in a few hours”… Click. Scroll (and much more scrolling). “Hey look my friend changed their cover photo. I guess that means I have to look through every one of their pictures”. Click. Click. Click. “Ok, now you have to focus,” says the voice in my head. So I then check my calendar for my HW. Ding. Somebody chats me and we have a conversation while I make my list of what I need to do and get out my first assignment. 10 more minutes to do a 2 minute task. “I have to turn on some music before I start.” Click. “Let me check my twitter.” Click. “Oh look somebody poked me on Facebook. I really can’t lose this poke war.” Click. Then I see a tab open for my Tumblr. Click. “Oh look Ellen has a new Youtube video.” Click. “Ok, I’m done.” Now I’ll finally start.
Any of this sound familiar? This repeats all throughout my night while I work on my school work. I am a perfectionist and I will take up every last minute I can get. Its not quite procrastination. It is a need to know that I did the most I can with my time. But if I wasted all this time on social media, then is it really the most I could do with my time? When I do get done with HW early, my mind races frantically and I go over what I had to do. “Math: Done, Science: Done, Spanish: Done, History: Done, English: Done. Ok great so nothing else.” But my mind goes through this same list over and over.
It is really hard to change habits, especially when it is a global habit. Everyone else is connecting with you through Facebook and other forms of social media, therefore you can’t escape. It is a whole other world, in a constant conflict with the real-world. I’m not saying technology is bad, because it has rapidly changed the world and how we learn and connect. And honestly, I love it. But I’m saying that when we need to be focused, it is a distraction and takes away minutes on minutes away from our free time.
I go to a challenging school, and the HW on top of sports and family life is hard to balance and I have perfectionistic qualities. But I do think, If I didn’t have these distractions and I could use free-time without my mind racing, I would have a much more relaxed week. I am starting to shut things down, run computer programs that block sites which I consider distracting and focus more on getting rid of these distractions. I have friends, who can get it done so quickly. But I also have friends who can barely get it done at all. It all depends on your use of time and how you manage this “other world”. You can shut if off and get your work done. Or keep it on and the work takes longer. I’m not saying one way is better than the other, because you get benefits from connecting with friends and you also get the benefit of more free-time if you turn off your other connections. It is a matter or personal opinion.
Social Media World: Dislike or Like?
My point is, the world we live in is in a parallel universe with the social world. Both worlds are great, but we have to find this balance on when each is appropriate. The media world can be quite distracting, yet it connects us with others, changes the way we can learn, and opens us up to thing we would not usually experience. The real world is full of many things we want to experience. I am personally still finding my way around both and getting to the ideal point where, I can still have fun and connect with others online and in the real world, use technology to learn and enhance my student life, and manage all my time so I can have time to do what I value. We all have to figure out how we want to use our time, and apply solutions to our distractions with our goals in mind.