Text by K. Cecchini @tonightatdawn/Images by WNYC’s New Tech City
Tonight at Dawn is growing and I am thrilled. All the same, I’m at odds with the process. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to grow TaD more, while another is to have less screen time.
I’m an oxymoron.
So, I welcome your ideas for the war on both fronts, while I share some of the things I am trying here:
📌Bored & Brilliant. This is for all of us who spend so much time in proximity to our phones that it begins to feel like a security blanket; I simply leave it at home sometimes when I go for a walk or at least leave it in the other room. With all the other devices. It helps me wean myself off of them and, according to WNYC’s New Tech City “Bored & Brilliant” challenge, it leaves more space in my brain for creativity.
📌Watched stats never grow. It’s motivating to see your own progress and reach, but just because I’m idle doesn’t mean I have to check stats or any of the other streams on my phone – Facebook, Twitter…I’m looking at you. A break, should be a break.
📌No screen-time before bedtime. There has been plenty of data that points to how viewing a screen before bed disturbs healthy sleep patterns. By the same token, although I use my phone as an alarm, I don’t need to do anymore with it than to shut it up when it wakes me up.
📌A little bit of the old school goes a long way. I am starting to grow my ideas more and more on paper-discarded notebooks-before moving to the computer. Not only does it reduce screen time, for me, it seems a change in medium helps to break my writer’s block. Perhaps paper and pencil also supports better developed planning as a 2008 Princeton journal study included evidence that people plan their writing more when given a paper task rather than a computer task.
📌Attack of the apps. Deleting apps, from games to the social media varieties, has helped free me from the screens; I am not a gamer so why am I getting sucked into Words with Friends on my phone? Also, if I have to log into sites such as Facebook, I know I am so much less likely to whittle away the minutes on it as opposed to having it ready on an app.
📌Push off. Push notifications irritate me. On that note, I’ve always only allowed them for text messages and telephone calls. Most of the apps that offer it are providing notifications of the most non-urgent updates. Not for nothing, Tonight at Dawn will survive even if I don’t respond to a comment for 2 hours. Forgive me, dear readers.