Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Struggles With Technology

I don't know if you've been feeling this lately....but I've been trying to cut down on my time spent on my laptop and iphone, with very little success.  It seems everything I do revolves around my laptop (listening to music, writing and recording music, email is probably my main source of communication, and I find new inspiration from things I find on the internet).  And yet, I know there is so much I can do without a laptop to keep me creatively inspired as well.

Yesterday, I was having lunch by myself.  Something I actually enjoy doing from time to time.  But I wasn't alone.  My phone was sitting there, right next to my plate of tuna nicoise.  I was pretty much having lunch with my phone.  What was so important at that moment?  Catching up on Instagram.  I feel like if I don't check my Instagram everyday, I'm going to miss out on something really cool.  Like finding an inspiring photo, or seeing what my friends have been up to.  I'm sure some of you experience these feelings too?  I never got into the whole Facebook thing, atleast not on my personal page.  But Instagram has sort of become my Facebook.

And then I found this beautiful video about a little boy named Caine who built a whole entire arcade out of cardboard to pass his time at his Dad's autoshop.  I was so moved by his imagination and creativity!  It reminded me of when I was a kid.  Before cell phones, before laptops.  I used to get lost for hours at a time in my imaginary worlds.

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

When we lose electricity, it's annoying at first.  But then when I realize that there's nothing I can do about it, I enjoy every last bit of it!  Knowing that I have a valid "excuse" for not replying to emails or checking my phone eases the stress of thinking that I have to do it.  Just like when I get sick, sometimes I absolutely revel in it, because it's a valid excuse for me to do nothing but sit in bed and watch movies and read.  So why should I feel so "burdened" by technology when I am blessed with health and living in a place where technology is so easily available?

So now I am trying (and so far failing) to shut down my computer and iphone by 8pm.  (!!!)  Even thinking about it makes me tense a little.  It's really really hard.  My phone will stay locked in my purse next time I eat lunch solo -- or better yet, it'll stay in there with double locks on it when I'm eating with someone.  I'm even going to try to make Sundays tech-free day.  I'll call it "Old School Sunday".  And yes, come Monday morning I'll have double the amount of emails waiting for me in my inbox.  But atleast my eyes, my brain, my body, and my soul will have gotten a healing break for 1 day.

Do you feel the same about technology?  Do you have any rules or rituals about how to take tech breaks?


P.S.  Here are some interesting articles I wanted to share with you:

Hot Tips + Neat Tricks For The Everyday Gangster:  great read for people who work from home.  I really loved her tips on "canned responses" for gmail users, and clearing out your entire inbox so you have less input constantly in front of you when you open your email.

10 Tips For Keeping Tech In Check:  This helpful blog post led me to Caine's Arcade, as well as....

...This book, which is on it's way!  I'll let you know how it is.


  1. I only use the necessary technology when exploring out and art walks, hikes, travel...and that'd be only the phone when needed and taking pictures.

    - Janice...

  2. It's amazing to read this on my phone at work. I challeneged my class to eliminate as many technological devices from their day/week/month as possible. For some, they really enjoyed the freedom. I actually miss the days of being away from home with no one being able to contact me sans phone, pager, computer etc.

    Great post!!

    1. I miss those days too! I have to make them now artificially sometimes.

  3. Being tied to technology can be tough sometimes, there's no doubt about it. If I find myself on a long drive, one of my favorite things to do is turn the phone off, the radio off, and just drive... windows optional.

    Good post!

  4. I drop by your Instagram profile occasionally, on the hunt for easter eggs and bonus content. Your online presence is meted out sensibly. Keeping a fan like me informed while leaving room for mystique.

    Not having a mobile has served me well. It affords me a measure of being offline. You're right, the balance needs some consideration, perhaps even intervention. There's enough intrigue online to swallow lives whole.

    Don't ever get a pair of Google Glasses :P

    1. Thanks Omar... I try to keep all my posts interesting and genuine, which is why sometimes they are few and far between.

  5. It's much the same with any addiction I think.If you have other to fill your life with, to not have the addictions or habits eating at you, the matter is easier to handle. Crafts do it for me. Pearl and abalone work on guitars,jewellery,opal work, camping, finding new beaches, rainforests, enjoying the favourite spots and local birds and animals. Where you also have a public life to attend to, most are relieved of that and demands.
    During winter and snows, my American net friends would drive me nuts. Then come the first spring day they would be gone. Boredom. I did facebook for 6 mths. It was toooooo much. Toooo many friends I barely knew wanting attention and getting plagued with every ten year old saying and joke on the net over and over. Then you have the stigma of having to give them the slip or de friending if you , sometimes quickly, realize they ain't all they made out. Now many of the sites are loaded with promotion and commercial than the situation a few years ago.
    I think it gets down to boredom and demands and responsibilities and what you can give the slip or become happily occupied. To each his own I guess.with the hours of boredom I couldn't do without the net but I'd get a lot more done for myself without it.I don't watch TV so the net is my TV and news channel now.

    Looking forward to your new album.Have nice days.

  6. To Priscilla:

    I don't know if you'll ever read this, but I'll give it a shot.

    I feel the same way about technology. I remember as a kid going into the backyard and shoveling up the dirt to play with the worms, zipping around the neighborhood on my bike, first two houses, then four, then the entire block (which I thought was a great deal back then :P) and throwing grass darts at each other at school.

    Back in elementary school (and even now in high school), technology always had an allure to it, especially video games! I didn't play as much as my peers because I never really owned a Playstation or Xbox, so the allure of it was of course doubled.

    Now, in high school and having my fair share of technology dosage, I can't seem to help but feel disillusioned by it all. Sure, technology is convenient and fun, but it doesn't have the depth that I need. Everywhere I would see kids on their Iphones and Ipods and other items and it's amazing to see how much we immerse ourselves into this stuff, how connected we are with these things. A paradox appeared; the more "connected" we are, the less connected we were.

    One Sunday morning, for no reason at all, a couple of friends and I decided to meet up at school and walk around. It was amazing. Without the influence of technology (and other students) on campus, it looked like a totally different place. We were discovering and rediscovering the world we lived in, and it was bliss, and like you say, it was healing.

    As an amateur scribbler/writer, I find that a lot of my inspiration comes while I'm unplugged and not scouring the internet for inspiration and I'm always looking forward to nature walks and unplugging myself.

    So yes, unplugging yourself is great! And if you're up for a little challenge, here's one:

    Pick some place you know well that's always busy with people. Try going there (early in the morning, maybe even before the sun rises so can watch that) and see how different it is. It may be you'll find something new and beautiful to sing.

    A fan,


    P.S. Here's a clip of the Amish Project about a guy who decides to quit on Facebook, Email, and his phone (not saying that you should, but it's a really interesting clip!)

    P.P.S. My friend has a game she plays when she eats out: her and her friends would put all their phones and electronics in the middle of the table and whoever touches it before the meal is over has to pay for everybody. Try playing that, sometime!

    1. First off, I love your Sunday morning walk with friends. I LOVE the video you shared. And I looooove the restaurant phone game! Genius. Good for you for not giving in to the technology whirlpool, especially in high school, where it's probably everywhere, and pressure is high for everyone to have the coolest gadgets.

      Thank you for your thoughts and advice! :)

  7. I sometimes also struggle with too much tech/internet. Seeing this post, I am going to to change and get on only when necessary! I loved the video you shared of the boy; such a creative child and inspiring! This was posted on my Sweet 16th and this is going to be my Sweet 16 resolution! I love your blog and thanks for sharing!

    1. Aw Trina! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! And what a wonderful 16th resolution! I wish I'd taken the time to make resolutions on my birthdays when I was your age.

      Thank you for sharing this.... this made my day. :) x

  8. I have the same struggle too! It seems like everybody these days cannot live without their phone, laptop, or any technology device these days. Kids are starting to have cell phones and or laptops at 8 years old? Crazy. It's sad to see the generation these days with "no" childhood. No classic TV shows, outside adventures or games, toys, movies, or board games to remember playing because of all the time is spent on checking Instagram or tweeting every moment in their lives.

    Just yesterday, I left my iPod in my purse and felt so disconnected from everyone. I hate it... having to feel like I NEED to know everyone's business or day. I remember the good old times where my family had a big old chunky computer in our living room that no one used because it was too slow (those were the dial-up days hahaha), so we pretty much used it for games and solitaire. I remember going out everyday with my sister making fishing rods and pretending to fish off our make-believe boat (our porch), or just biking around, or swinging. We didn't know what our friends were doing at every moment but we were able to survive and have so much fun!

    I remember when writing letters was my thing. No texts, emails, or nothing- just a wonderful piece of paper and pen. The excitement of just watching the mailman pick up my letter was such an amazing feeling, compared to seeing the sending icon on my email or what not.

    As for creative and imaginative ideas... I remember when I would just think things from the top of my head, but now... it seems like Pinterest has taken over (It's so addicting!)

    But anyway, I too miss the good ole days where technology didn't control my life.

    Thanks Ms. Priscilla for the inspiration to limit my technology time :) Maybe I should "fast" every so often hehehe

    P.S. I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOUR NEW ALBUM! I love all your songs. I'll always remember the first time I discovered you which was back in June of 2011 where your song, "Oo La La" played on the radio :D

    1. Hi Merribeth!

      I cannot agree with you more, paragraph by paragraph. I never grew up with electronic games, so I always played pretend outside, for hours and hours! I cherish that part of my childhood.

      I still love getting packages and letters in the mail! And sending them out in my mailbox, flipping up the red flag.

      Technology fasts are good ideas! I think they would be so good for us, and we deserve the break every now and then. :)

      And thank you for your support of my new album! We don't have a release date yet... but hopefully we'll get one soon so I can announce it! xo

  9. Hey Priscilla,

    I'm a big fan of you and your music. Well, I try my best to stay off of my laptop but most of the time, it doesn't work because I get lonely and Facebook is really my only form of communication with my friends at the moment. I really love what you had to say in your blog here and will consider trying what you said. Thank you! By the way, I'm really looking forward to your new album!!