Technology has played a helpful part in my alcoholfree adventure. The purpose of this post is to share how I changed my technology use to stay alcoholfree. The ‘before and after’ snapshots I’m about to share illustrate this contrast. Saying goodbye to old destructive technology behaviours was a leap and a challenge in itself. I hope that by sharing this, it might give you some ideas about how we can use technology to successfully stay alcoholfree.
Before I quit drinking, I was a technology junkie. Looking back, I think I was caught in the technology trap – almost like an addiction in itself! Some rather embarrassing traits that stick out:
- I cared too much about Facebook. I cared about how many likes my posts got and I cared about what people thought of me. I cared about what other people were doing and who they were doing it with. Almost like the overly nosy person in your life that oversteps the line between a friend and being downright invasive!
- I cared about taking the right photos with the right people in the right places. It was easy to not be in the moment. Instead of having authentic conversations and enjoying peoples’ company, I was focussed on taking photos for yes, you guessed it, Facebook. Invariably, with a wine in hand. Meanwhile, the world was going by and I was missing it. Typically these photos include wine or a pub… you know those slightly drunk group photos!?!?! Cringe!.
- I cared too much about what was going on in the media. I was a nightly news watcher. I cared about trivial shit like what Hollywood actors ate for breakfast and the clothes they wore.
I was so caught up with what my social media profile was looking like that I completely missed what was going on around me. I was so superficial that I didn’t have a show of quitting drinking if I kept going down this road. But society love it, right!?! That’s the thing. These days it’s normal to mindlessly scroll on Facebook or other social media sites for an hour or so a night. It’s normal to post pictures of your food and cat. Also, Facebook and the media love booze – they condone and promote it everywhere you look. So I knew that if I was going to kick this thing once and for all, I neeed to escape the unhelpful, superficial and flakey technology trap I had dug for myself. I think I was in this trap for the same reason I drunk: my self confidence was low and I needed external validation to feel better. But on reflection, I was going about things the wrong way.
Clarification – I’m not saying Facebook and social media is bad. What I’m saying is that my mindless, shallow relationship with technology was toxic, unconstuctive and not setting me up for alcoholfree success.
I made the decision to extract myself from Facebook when I quit drinking. I knew if i had half an hour to mindless scroll through cat videos, that was half an hour I could use to deepen my knowledge about how to quit drinking. I no longer spend an hour each night watching the news. Rather than using technology in this way, I now use the time to use technology in a way that’s been hugely helpful. These days, I use my technology time as follows.
- Time to read books like Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind.
- Time to listen to recovery podcasts.
- Time to meditate.
- Time to learn to be comfortable in my own company.
- Time to write this and to read your inspiring, thought-provoking blogs!
Here is a link to my Resources page where you can find a comprehensive list of the resources that have worked for me. Much more efficient and effective use of my time. Cat videos and Hollywood heros serve no purpose in my life anymore.
These days, my friends and I stay in contact the old fashioned way. We ring each other, we text and we catch up for brunch and stuff. It’s a delight to have authentic conversations about what each other is doing whereas before, we pretty much had an up to date view about each other ‘oh yeah, I saw that on Facebook’. How inauthentic I was! A few people got shitty when I stopped liking their Facebook blabber and wasn’t all over their Facebook heroics. But it really showed who my true friends and family are. These days, I may jump on very sporadically (e.g. Once a week) to update events and invites. But it is very much the exception to the rule. A stark 180* contrast to my daily use six month ago.
Thanks for stopping by, all the best for the week ahead.
Love and alcoholfree hugs from New Zealand xoxo
P.S. The following photo was from yesterday’s walk to work.