The Unwired Mom

Wait!  Before you click away from this review (because you kind of know you’re a little bit addicted to the internet and you’re afraid I’m going to tell you to quit cold turkey?) let me assure you that The UnWired Mom – Choosing to Live Free in an Internet Addicted World is not anti-internet.

Rather than being a Luddite treatise on getting rid of your computer, The UnWired Mom is a helpful encouragement to be more aware of how you spend time and to take control of using the internet as a tool.

I really appreciated the way the author (Sarah Mae, the author of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe) encourages readers to think carefully about how to use the internet, including questions like:

  • Am I using the internet as a numbing agent?  I don’t think she uses the term “numbing” but I read that in another book and I think it’s what she’s describing.  That is, are you turning to the internet because it’s easy and your life is hard, or because you’re bored or anxious?  Sarah helpfully points out that feelings of boredom, sadness, anger and anxiousness are symptoms of real problems, and if you just numb them you can’t deal with what’s really going on.  We all need to veg once in a while, but if you’re doing it all the time to cover up an issue, that’s a problem.
  • Am I using the internet to avoid taking action on a goal or project?  If you’re on the internet all the time but aren’t accomplishing things you need or want to do, that’s not effective use of your time.  In the short run, the internet is easy, but in the long run it’s not as satisfying as actually accomplishing something big.  This part of the book includes a discussion on the things that hold us back from taking steps toward big goals, which I found helpful.
  • Am I using the internet to the exclusion of my real life?  The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but it’s worth taking time to explore the balance you have between the two.
  • Am I using the internet in a way that is true to my priorities?  This is the “does your schedule reflect your priorities” idea you’ve read about in other books, but it’s always helpful to revisit.
Because I work primarily from home, and I work on the computer, I personally really struggle with how much my children see me on the computer or checking my phone.  I’ve been keeping a time log for the past week or so and it has made me more aware of how my work fits into spots all over my day.  That’s great in some ways, but it also means that I’m jumping on and off phone calls and writing bits of things here and there all day long.  In the book, Sarah Mae advocates for set work hours.  I’ve been thinking about that and trying to figure out how I might cluster my work time differently.  I am interested to know if that might make me more productive overall and less frantic and stressed during busy times.  

I thought The UnWired Mom was helpful and would recommend it.

How do you feel about your internet use?  Do you have it well in hand, or does it sometimes get away from you?  Have you thought before about how your computer/phone use fits in (or not) with your priorities?  What has helped you keep control of this aspect of life?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I received a free copy of the book in exchange for subscribing to Sarah Mae’s blog, but that promotion is not currently available at the time of this writing.

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