Many people feel like they spend too much time, waste too much time, aimlessly wandering online, playing games, or attempting to keep up with the never-ending stream of social media updates. It’s so easy to get sucked in, especially with portable and mobile devices like the iPhone and the iPad. Online addiction can be a productivity destroyer, but it’s also something that robs us of time with family and friends and diminishes our hopes and ambitions.
To be clear, what most people call addiction is not true, full blown clinical obsessive behavior or addiction. Those require treatment and professional help. If you find yourself unable to cope with how you spend your time online or with digital devices, seek help.
But for the majority of us who find ourselves once again just wasting too much time, there are some simple things you can do to help you break away, to take a breath and experience the world unmediated and uninterrupted by electronic nonsense.
Today’s tip: become a gardener.
I’m not suggesting that you till up your back yard and grow tomatoes and onions (although they are very nice when fresh and home-grown). I’m suggesting that you get a few plants to start, and build a routine of caring for them. Cultivating a plant can be simple or complex, but a few minutes spent caring for a living thing is a world apart from staring at a screen.
A Bonsai tree is an excellent way to give yourself a daily, regular task of caring for a plant. It needs regular watering, pruning, and adjusting for light. If you spend time with a beautiful, miniature tree, it also allows you a meditative break. Imagine yourself sitting under this tree, looking out across the mountains or into a prairie. Or see this tree in your mind as a true giant and yourself as nature incarnate. Let your mind and imagination take flight. You can do this all by just taking a responsible role as a gardener.
You can garden with any plant or plants, indoors or out. Find something you like, then plan to spend a few minutes at the same time, every day, at that point when you’re most likely to become lost in the web. Stop, fetch your tools and your watering can, and visit your plant.
Don’t over-water the poor thing, but learn about it, and not from Wikipedia. Touch it, learn from direct experience. This model, learning by doing, will serve you well, even in digital pursuits.
You don’t have to be a slave to your devices. They are there to serve you. But you are there to serve your garden.
Serve it well.
The Tips To Break Your Online Addiction: Garden by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.