Our Online Distractions - Do We Have Time for All This?

So many apps, so little time! Are you spending more time online now than a year ago?

I admittedly spend too much time online. My goodness, there is so much to do here it is almost becoming a chore.

Let’s see, I must check my personal and work email persistently throughout the day. I find I must keep up with all the junk mail so as not to miss any real important email. I will also pop onto Facebook at least once a day, more often if I receive an email or smart phone notification.

I check out Patch daily for local news and events. I’ll visit LinkedIn and Twitter weekly. Of course, any thought that pops into my head I am Googling to find out more about it. I will also admit to my Words with Friends addiction. I have about 15 games going with both friends and strangers. I feel good about this as it’s fun and stretches my mind a bit.

This is keeping me quite busy. But now what about Instagram and Pinterest? Do I have time for these too? I am sure there are a whole bunch of apps that I am missing out on, but I just don’t have time to get addicted to any additional online endeavors. And yes Facebook addiction is real.

Last August, I wrote about . I should really take my own advice, perhaps put myself on an online diet and get some of those lingering household projects done!

It used to be easy to be offline. We started out with desktop personal computers. If you wanted to be online you had to be where your computer was. It was great when laptops, wireless and Wi-Fi came along as we no longer had to be tied down to our desks (or where ever our PC was hooked up).

Now, we could be online in any room of the house or public Wi-Fi area. We were able to naturally take breaks from our email and other online distractions when not in front of our laptops. But now we are carrying our smart phones and tablets around with us and, at any and every moment, we are plugged in. Our only control is our own self-control - good luck with that. Admittedly, there are more apps today to win our attention.

I see couples young and old in restaurants waiting for their tables or food. Instead of talking with one another, each is tapping away on their own phone. At any small moment of boredom, our habit has become to engage in an electronic endeavor, checking email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Words with Friends, etc. Perhaps, this is a good time management technique, but at what cost? I wonder where our minds might take us if left on their own to ramble unplugged for a while.

Are we missing out on the real world or has this become our real world? Sorry, gotta go now. My real world laundry awaits!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Elizabeth K May 24, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I did the same about a year ago....don't misss it. Good for you
Mike Klubok May 24, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Jeri here is another perspective to make you feel less guilty. There is less of a need to travel for business meetings in many cases. Meetings can be done via Skype, Google+ hangouts or another online medium. Time and money spent travelling are saved because these meetings can occur online. A variation on a theme but a major Manhattan photography store has free seminars at their store. They have been videotaping these and putting them on YouTube. You now have the ability of viewing these online without travelling into Manhattan. So you're saving time and money by being online.
Dawn Andrew May 24, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I handle advertising for four Patch sites so I am online all day keeping up with my towns. Some days my head spins I have read so much but I guess knowledge is power. I also use facebook for business and I have to get better about managing my time. In the past I have set aside three times a day to check my facebook.
Helen May 24, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Yes our reliance with computers and other devices has become an extension of our beings. I simply hate the fact that human contact has been lost. When was the last time you picked up the phone to speak to a friend? When was the last time you made plans to meet up with a friend to 'catch up'? Sure, the internet makes contact easier, but not necessarily better.
Free 2B Me May 25, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Dawn, Since you handle advertising for the Patch, please stop with those darn "pop ups" that slide across the bottom of the screen when reading an article. I am Free 2B...me


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