Getting out of the technology trap: constructive technology that’s kept me alcoholfree

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.

25 thoughts on “Getting out of the technology trap: constructive technology that’s kept me alcoholfree

  1. I’ve also cut down on my facebook use but would probably benefit if I cut down even more. It’s frightening how easily a few hours can be lost in online places, hours that could be put to so much better use as you so accurately point out here. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can creep up on us… before we know it an hour has gone by. Thank you for sharing. Online can be used for good (e.g. It has brought our little community together :-)) but it can also be used to drain our brains.
      Have a great Friday

      Like

  2. So so so true! I didn’t realize how my social media use was like my alcoholism (doing just to do it, and then stuck in an endless spiral) until after I decided to cut back. It was partly because of what I read in the book Deep Work by Cal Newport (add it to your to be read list!), and as I’m looking back on the last week or so of very limited use, I’m shocked (lol, well, not THAT shocked) at how much I have been able to accomplish (nearly 4 books read). Do you go on social media at all or was it just cutting out Facebook?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it crazy how we get into this downward spiral of social media doom and gloom without reading! So interesting to read your thoughts – thank you. And the book, I have just added it to reading list thank you so much!
      I went off FB for the first four months of not drinking. I have the app now on my iPad at home but to be honest, I’d go on it say once a week. And when I do, it reminds me how pointless and brain cell destroying it is. Reading Deep Work sound far more constructive. No Facebook has helped increase my happiness I’m sure of it πŸ”†

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do have to go on FB for work for multiple businesses….but having a list of things to do has helped SO much with when I do have to go on. And when I slip and just hop on, I see why I wanted to cut it out in the first place!

        Deep work is SO good, it’s very academic, and even though I read like crazy, it was work to read it. Worth the read though. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • FB for work makes complete sense – everyone has their own media and business avenues. My use was mindless scrolling at people’s food, pets, kids and reposted clips.
        Can’t wait to read Deep Work! It’s on order πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸΌβ€οΈ

        Like

  3. Fantastic post. Loved it.
    I am lucky that my FB exposure is small. I started it for my podcast, and to be honest, I never enjoyed FB. I am rarely there, only going to post when the latest episode is up. But I see people struggle with it. To be honest, most people who have deleted their FB have been happy. Some only use it for family, and that’s totally legit. I get it.
    As for it being an addiction – hell ya. Lots of research and articles have given some concrete evidence of things like depression being attributed to social media. A self-worth dependant on how many Likes and such. I know I have been caught up in that – the numbers on my blog, the podcast, how many likes I get in Twitter, etc. I stopped checking those things a long time ago. I mean, I look, but my mood isn’t changed because of that.
    Thanks for this – wonderful!
    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I still need to take FB off my phone, and let my family know about it.
    We all live far apart, and it’s the only way I can see what’s going on in their lives.
    They can message me or text me if it’s really important. (Most of the time it’s pictures of their dogs..LOL)
    In any case, good for you!!
    You are certainly a role model for me!!
    xoxo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ€— It’s hard to do, I completely understand. Especially if families and friends pressure us to ‘stay on Facebook’. I respect the up side, with loved ones abroad. But by in large, the majority of stuff on my news feeds was re-hashed cat videos, kids pulling stupid stunts and people showing off when they spend lots of money.
      Thank you as always for your kindness and support Wendy. Much love and big hugs xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a very good friend who extricated herself from Facebook a few years ago. I think it was for much the same reasons as you, but in her case, it was because it stressed her out so much, everyone knowing everyone else’s business.
    I’m there every day but I genuinely can’t stand it. I used to be on MySpace and we could blog there. I made some friends for life there and eventually they all trickled over to Facebook. I joined them, eventually. After a while I found I was getting disgruntled with it and said so, (I personally hate disgruntled, “I’m leaving” posts but…) but then I got a comment from someone I didn’t care much about (“NOOO don’t go!! We’d miss you”) which was bollox cos she didn’t much care about me either, so I deactivated it! I didn’t go back to Facebook for over 2 years, but by that time I was less stressed and happier in myself – AND I’d missed my MySpace pals. I started a private blog which is entitled Bloggers. There are 10 bloggers in there. It’s great. Eventually we made another private blog called Wanker Island – and there we exile people or things that anger, disappoint or hurt us. It’s a ranting and venting blog.

    Having that’s been a lifesaver for me as I’ve often needed to write honestly, but then one of my pals (Kindra) joined WordPress and here I am. This has taken over for me and I rarely give FB a 2nd glance, but I’ve family all over the World and I appreciate having the contact with them through Messenger.
    I do envy you though. And I’d deactivate it again if I didn’t have my Design & Photography pages, but for me, it’s manageable and non-intrusive in my life.
    I’m sorry to have blogdicked all over your blog again! You struck a chord with such a good piece of writing though. Even though we’ve only been following each other such a short time, I’ve noticed such a change in how positive and focused you are, and I identify with that so much. It inspires me. Even if I’m often resistant to the net, and networking as a whole, I’m aware that had it not been for it, I would never have met such inspiring folk that I also consider friends. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh how I love your honesty, it’s so refreshing. Wanker Island sounds awesome!! As you say, what a neat way to share frustrations (in a safe environment).
      Your observations about the various social media platforms resonates. And I get the bit about using it for family connections, especially when people are around the globe. Technology can definitely be used for good.
      Don’t be sorry for sharing your thoughts, it’s always so delightful reading your insights.
      Thanks so much for popping by, love your work πŸ™‹πŸ½β€οΈπŸŒπŸ”†

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wanker Island is hilarious actually. We’re a close bunch. I reckon we’ve been friends for well over 13 years and my best school friend joined us in Bloggers before WI was begun. We’ve known each other for over 40 years. X

        Liked by 1 person

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