Sunday, 14 October 2012

Who needs friends, or enemies, when you have computers like these?

I love my laptop. And I mean, really REALLY love! I recently realised how much I use it, and what I use it for.

  • social networking (facebook and twitter) 
  • watching videos- filofax videos, music videos and, of course, the ubiquitous cat videos! (youtube)
  • reading blogs, mainly filofax ones
  • looking at pictures of things I like- filofaxes, other stationery etc (flickr, google images)
  • the news (BBC news website)
  • watching TV (BBC iplayer, ITV player, 4OD etc)
  • listening to music (itunes, spotify, youtube)
  • learning general knowledge about random things I hear throughout the day and want to know more about (wikipedia)
  • word processing etc (Microsoft Office software)
  • storing and looking at my digital photos
  • playing games (Sims 3, Pharaoh, silly internet games)
And lots, LOTS more stuff that I can't even think of right now!!

I couldn't live without my laptop. It does everything for me. I have a smartphone, which does quite a lot, but not everything that I need it to do, and I think I would feel the same if I bought a tablet. Recently my friend had a break-in and her laptop was stolen- I would be distraught if this happened to me!! I back it up frequently, but I would still be heartbroken. I don't think I could go 3 days without going on my computer!

So my laptop is my best friend, right?

Hmm... maybe not!
I spend FAR too much time on my computer! It is the first thing I use in the morning and the last thing I use at night. In the morning I turn it on, put some music on using spotify, and start up the internet, with these webpages in this order:
  • Facebook
  • Uni email
  • Philofaxy
  • Hotmail email
  • Twitter
Then I would quickly check on flickr and youtube to see if any new Filofax things have been added overnight, and maybe ebay to see if any bargain filofaxes are ending soon or newly listed. 

Catching up on each of those things takes me a while- together, I can spend from 30 mins, up to even 1 hour 30 mins, just reading the new stuff that has been loaded overnight on those websites. Not to mention those new sites that I find through my standard websites- new blog posts and cool things that I hear about from people suggesting sites on facebook, twitter, philofaxy etc.

Then I can go for a couple of hours away from my laptop, but by early afternoon I will be on my computer again, and suddenly it will be 5pm and I've wasted the afternoon! I manage to spend the late afternoon and early evening doing some other stuff, mainly to make up for the time I have wasted, and then we have dinner, and I might stay downstairs with my parents for a couple more hours without my laptop. But by 9pm-ish, I would get bored, spend a couple more hours on my computer, because by this stage twitter conversations are really interesting, with both EU, UK and US philofaxers being online at the same time. Then my dad puts on some rubbish TV, so I try to find something interesting to occupy me- I manage to find tonnes of blogs to read, and videos to watch on youtube- which takes me all the way up to bedtime, and I end up laying in bed, with my laptop on!! 
And then tomorrow it all starts again!

So I spend wayyyyy too much time on my computer everyday. It distracts me from practically everything I need to do! It's also a way to procrastinate too, when I don't want to do my boring chores! I literally have to drag myself away from my laptop! 
I think there is a bigger problem for me- I don't use the fun stuff I enjoy doing as a reward for doing my to-dos; instead, I do my fun stuff first, and try to fit my to-dos around them- and because I don't have a lot of time left in the day once I have spent many hours on my laptop, I don't have enough time to do my chores and to-dos!

I think I'm going to have to find a way to stop going on my computer so much, and to use my fun stuff as a reward instead. I will probably write a list in my filo of blog posts I've found to read, new youtube videos I've found, etc etc, and then after I finish my to-dos for that day, I can sit down and have fun.  

What do you guys do to stop going on your computers so much? Do you find it hard to stop doing what you want to do, and start doing what you need to do?


  1. I have similar problems with spending too much time on the computer. Computers are addictive as well as really useful. I haven't found a solution that completely works for me, but here are some ideas.

    Using the computer as a reward for doing work, and noting down articles to read later are both great ideas.

    You can keep a log of how long you spend on the computer and what you're doing. There are programs like RescueTime which will do this for you, or you can write it in your Filofax. Then you can try and reduce the time. You could even post the results on your blog if you're feeling brave!

    You could set limits, say no computer after 9pm or before 11am. Whatever times work for you. Or decide not to use the computer at all on a particular day. This works quite well for me - it seems easier to stay off completely than limit my time.

    There are a few good books on computer usage. "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr is particularly good, and explains what using computers does to your brain. It's a bit disturbing. Also "The Information Diet" by Clay Johnson is interesting, but is rather America-centric.

    Good luck, and let us know how you get on!

  2. I admit I used to have a bit of a problem with this too! I've used an internet blocker programme called Freedom, which is quite good & an online timer called Tick Tock as well to limit my online time.

    However, my answer was being abroad for about 2 weeks with very limited access to a computer or the internet. I did have my mind on other things (family illness), but I really didn't miss it at all. I think that was a real eye-opener & for ages when I got back home I wasn't that bothered about going online.

    I think now it comes down to what's important to me, what I enjoy & how I choose to spend my time. For example, once upon a time reading the Philofaxy webfinds would be my Saturday morning start along with my breakfast. Now it's become my reward for getting something done instead & I think I enjoy it even more as I've made myself wait for it :)