Tech and Balances


I have a confession.  I am an information junkie.  I have always enjoyed reading, but this crazy thing Al Gore invented totally blows Encyclopedia Britannica out of the water!

Back in the day I could get direct information without banner ads screaming in my face and without access to shopping, entertainment news and social networking all a mere click away.  Most junkies can at lease avoid temptation trying to accomplish everyday tasks.  Alcoholics can typically do their jobs just fine without fear that a liquor store will one day pop up next to the copy machine at work.

The real problem is that I have a kid now.  This little toddler is looking to me for guidance on everything.  I can’t have him thinking that the virtual world is more appealing than the real world.  I have to lead by example.  It’s complicated by the fact that I work from home sometimes.  He sees Mommy on the laptop, Blackberry, PC, iPad…balancing the paper in my lap.

I don’t want this to bite me in the you-know-what one day.  I can already hear him using that line from that anti-drug commercial in the 80s – “I learned by watching you!”

So I found myself in a precarious situation today.  There’s a little alphabet and animal game he likes online.  I say to him, “Owen, you only have 10 minutes.”  He’s 15 months old with no concept of time, but I hope by the tone in my voice he understands that I am setting a limit.  I realize I am setting limits for him without setting any for myself.

I thought parenthood would make me think more of my child than myself, but it has actually make me hyper aware of myself.  When I look through his giant blue eyes, I can actually see all the flaws in myself that I need to fix so I can be the best role model as possible.  This kid is tough…

Alright, buddy, you got me.  If I set limits for you, I must do the same for myself.  So for the next week, I’m going to track my time online like a fatty keeping a food diary. I know it will show I’m over indulging…

So the only sensible thing to do here is to start “Operation Tech and Balances”.  I will record how much time I spend on the computer every day for 1 week, and I will categorize how I spend that time.  Some will be useful, like ordering groceries, paying bills, reading news, but some may be entirely futile.  I’m pretty nervous to see the results, but this is why I love numbers…they don’t lie.
By the way, I’m starting tomorrow…

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