Saturday, 7 September 2013

Technology

One part of minimalism that I hadn't expected is reading and learning about less technology. When I first heard about Minimalism I assumed and thought it was all to do with getting rid of most of our stuff. Then about being careful what we bought so that hopefully had more money as a result. And then thinking more carefully about what we wanted to do with that money.

For example, just before we moved to Luxembourg, I wanted to look at buying our 'Forever House' - we had spent a lot of time prior saying 'in our next house we'll - ' and I was fed up of it. So I was sad to learn when we moved to Luxembourg that it would be a LONG time before we could consider buying a home here.

Well having lived in a small (compared to what we lived in before) apartment in Luxembourg, I like things so much that I said to DP the other day I am actually more than happy to consider longer term rental. We are *hoping* to move in the next few years and I was pretty surprised when it was actually DP who mentioned it may be better to look at buying at that point (at the moment we rent out our UK house as it's more cost effective for now).

Anyway, that is just home related. I have announced yesterday I am deleting my facebook account. I have to be honest, I haven't gone the full 'hog' with this yet, I have a blog page that I plan to use and I'm still in a few groups. *But* the main reason for the groups is that I seek advice from them or sell things in them and I will probably want them in the next few months when Munchkin is born (for example breast feeding & selling a sling). If I don't then I will leave them (& I am seriously considering leaving them already but I fear I would drive certain friends bananas :D). I have also left already more than I thought I could. I have already deleted quite a few friends from facebook and this evening plan to delete the rest. I spent some time yesterday deleting all my photo albums from my profile. I have found in the last week I have got particularly hacked off with certain comments so I definitely feel it's the right thing to do. And then this morning I discovered a local school returns back next week and they were the venue for one particular playgroup so I will be calling them to see what's happening. My mother always said that if you clear things out, it opens the door for new things and that certainly seemed to be the case! In the process of leaving various groups I checked a few of them and discovered charity and volunteering options in one of them so have messaged 2 ladies regarding that...

When I first announced on my private facebook page that I planned to leave I had a lot of friends ask why. Well part of the reason is that I don't feel I'm very good as a mother when I'm glued to facebook/ on my phone (I am not suggesting others are like this, I just know that I'm not good!). I also find I get stressed at people being so judgemental. So I decided that enough was enough, I would spend my time taking my children to local groups, prepping when we're at home for the next activity and enjoying them. If they go to local groups they don't need as many toys at home, hence less clutter and if asked for present ideas we'll either say nothing, membership (eg the local swimming pool or playgroups) or possibly books. One such local group that we've paid to start in November is actually run at a local international children's library, of which membership is mandatory so I am hoping that as we will be going weekly anyway, to borrow books as well. IP has suddenly got very interested in books so this may be a life saver... And non parenting wise, years ago I barely checked facebook & I remember driving into work one day, listening to the Radio where they said about a challenge of giving up facebook for a week. I sneered at the idea of it being hard to 'give up' facebook because at the time I had probably done more than what they'd suggested. Now I check it far more often than I should!

Some posts that I read that got me thinking about technology:
http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/07/16/the-day-i-stopped-saying-hurry-up/

http://www.theminimalistmom.com/2011/06/ill-pay-you-100-to-take-my-iphone/

I sent the above blurb to DP because I would LOVE to be able to say that I am even part way there. I remember years ago a time when I hadn't even heard of Facebook. I am of the generation that didn't have a mobile phone. And when I actually stop to think about my social activities, most of them are arranged via email. I do have access to the latter on my mobile but my point being that I don't feel I'm missing social occasions through not being on facebook. So what do I miss? DP definitely approves. IP shouts at me for having my phone or laptop out and at a very young age could attempt to 'slide' to unlock an iphone. At the time I thought it was 'amazing'. Now I'm shocked and appalled. It's all very well me being grateful that my daughter doesn't watch much tv (well under the average that is 'ok' for her age) out of coincidence but that doesn't help much when she sees so much other media around her?!

I cried when I read the post 'the day I stopped saying hurry up'. All of this really hit home. I want to put my skills and personality to good use. I don't want to be getting cross at comments on facebook. I don't want to be stressed out at the latest app on my phone, or having to upload photo's to 20 different places. Incidentally, the last time I checked I had well over 100 albums on facebook, I'm pretty sure it had made it to over 200...

The main technology I still have and use is:

  • Satellite tv - DP won't give that up just yet but we have dramatically reduced the amount we watch. I also find it useful for 'quiet time' with IP and I suspect it will be a godsend when Munchkin arrives...
  • Iphone - I still have and use an iphone, I'm just going to try to be more like the lady in the post above. Whilst I probably should delete my emails app, the ability to check if there's anything relating to the management of the rental of our UK house, any comments on this blog, any play dates, etc, is too tempting. Things like google translate app is a godsend sometimes, particularly in the supermarket. I also use duolingo.
  • My laptop & the internet.


What I am intending and hoping to do is have specific times and evenings for different activities. At the moment we have a French night, a date night and certain nights for certain tv programmes, for example. I will also need to be incredibly organised with what things we need to take with us each day (eg snacks, drinks bottles, etc) and try to get to bed at a decent hour. None of which happen if I continue spending all evening on facebook/ watching tv. I also hope to schedule time to write this blog... ;)

And during the day writing this post I have seen a video on facebook via Hands Free Revolution which has further confirmed my thoughts and feelings on this.

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