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  • Digital Detangler

Katherine becomes Digital Detangler's first graduate!

Balancing a busy schedule as a teacher and still finding time for a personal life are daily challenges for Katherine. Adding one more commitment at the end of her workday may seem to an outsider like a strange choice. But having worked through the Digital Detangler curriculum, nine modules given two to three weeks apart, she found more time in the day. We initially installed a tool called RescueTime and some hand-coded scripts to monitor how Katherine was using her laptop and smartphone. What we found was a disturbing amount of time spent on Facebook. In fact, if Katherine's Facebook use did not change, she would have spent 25 days of 2017, just using Facebook on her phone. Those are 25 24-hour days. Confronted with this information, Katherine was motivated to delete the Facebook app, instead using her laptop's browser to spend time on Facebook. Later in the course, she reinstalled Facebook on her phone and was able to keep her Facebook use to less than half her initial use. Throughout the program, Katherine was introduced to tools to make her online life more focused. She set limits on her social media use on weekends through the use of Nanny for Chrome and set personal and technology goals each session. With one exception, Katherine succeeded in acheiving all of her goals. Another boon to her role as a teacher came during the Restyle module, where we explored customizing commonly visited sites. Katherine was delighted to remove distractions from YouTube so that she could show science videos to her students without distractions like autoplay, related videos, and comments. I would love to take all the credit for Katherine's progress over the last several months, but the truth is, Katherine's commitment to experimenting with and modifying her environment, without getting bogged down by guilt or frustration, kept her on track and resulted in measurable changes* in the way she relates to and leverages technology. Congratulations to Katherine!

* I use an industry standard nomophobia test to rate attachment to smartphones. The scores range from 20 to 140. The higher the score, the more attached a person is to their smartphone. Katherine's score before the program was a 93. After completing the program, she scored a 35.


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