Attention Journaling

Over the past week, I’ve been making a conscious effort of being more mindful of my technology use. This not only includes limiting my usage, but also keeping a journal of what I’m doing, thinking, etc. while I’m using technology. Keeping the “attention journal” was extremely interesting.

One of the things that I found was that when I’m on my phone surfing the internet, I have an amazing knack of tuning out the outside world. For example, if I was watching TV while also on my phone, I’d give my phone my whole attention and miss “important” parts of the show I was watching. In addition, I typically am in the same position while on technology. If I’m in the living room, I sit on the couch with the footrest out and my phone in my hand.  When I hold my phone, I find that I usually hold it with both hands with three fingers behind, my pinkies on the bottom, and my thumbs available to scroll.

hold phone.jpg
Photo CC: Getty Images 

In addition, I have found that usually when I’m on my phone I’m either bored, or procrastinating. If I am busy doing homework, or out walking etc., it’s easy for me to stay off my phone. However, when I’m bored, or avoiding my homework, my automatic response is to reach for my phone.

The amount of time that I spend on my phone also varies. I find that right before I go to bed, and right when I wake up is when I use the internet the most. Generally speaking, I spend anywhere from half an hour to an hour on my phone at either of these times. Scrolling through social media is a great way to help me wind down after a long day and to wake up early in the morning. Throughout the day, the time I spend on my phone is much shorter. Instead of spending half an hour or so, I spend a few minutes to check for notifications and answer messages before putting my phone back down.

Photo CC: Meagan 

Generally speaking I would say that my breathing when I am engaged with technology is very regular. Although I tune everything out when I’m on social media, I find that my mind tends to wander when I’m watching TV or doing homework. Even when I’m not using my phone, I still have it with me. I keep it on me so I can answer messages and phone calls when I do have them. I find that I’m pretty dependent on having it near me and feel uncomfortable when I don’t have it, even if I’m not using it.

Overall, keeping this journal actually helped me to become more mindful of my technology usage. At the beginning of this unit, when I reflected on my mindfulness, I thought myself to be a fairly mindful person. After spending a week really analyzing my thoughts, body language, and usage, it was amazing to see how “out of it” I can be when it comes to technology.


6 thoughts on “Attention Journaling

  1. I realized that I am more distracted when on my cell phone or I-pad. If I am on my desktop I stay focused and engaged in the task I need to complete. No alerts going off. Like you I was surprised to find myself logging how distracted I was and how many things I had going on at the same time. I wouldn’t say I was productive at all during those times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have noticed I also tune out a lot of what is going on around me. I found that I don’t even realize the tv is on anymore. I check my phone periodically through out the day but once I am off work spend about 45 minutes ‘catching up’. Definitely a huge eye opener. Great post!


  3. I found similar results. I also tend to spend more time on social media and my phone at night and some times in the mornings when I have a free minute. Otherwise, throughout the day, I don’t spend all that much time on my phone. Attention journaling was an interesting experiment. Opened my eyes to my technology use.

    Liked by 1 person

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