Martine Rolls: Life sucked into cyber space

Sometimes you come across a story that turns out to be a real eye-opener.

This happened to me twice in the past few weeks.

The first one was about Rushing Woman's Syndrome.

It was published in the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend's lifestyle magazine indulge.

It was about the struggle of being always on the go, balancing work and home. It's a common issue for today's women, mothers in particular. Nutritionist Dr Libby Weaver says this phenomenon is taking its toll on women's health as it leaves us tired yet wired.

The huge amount of ticks I had after completing the checklist was a little scary.

The hurried way I've been living my life for such a long time is indeed causing problems.

I have just started reading Dr Libby Weaver's book (the real one, not a digital version) and I'm hoping to find a few more helpful tips on how to make my existence a little less hectic, as an average weekday for me always takes place in a crazy rush.

I get up at 6.15am then have a coffee and check emails, Facebook and website comments on the iPad.

When that's done, I quickly get the lunches, drink bottles and school bags ready and hurry the kids out of bed.

I make them breakfast and have a quick bite to eat myself if time allows, then have a five-minute shower and get ready for the day, either before or after I check the website comments and Facebook again.

Then I rush to work and squeeze in as much as I can in those available hours before dashing out the door again to pick the children up from after-school care, cook dinner, clean up after everyone, get some homework done and also some playtime if it's not too late, then I get them ready for bed.

Sometimes I'm so knackered by the time the children go to bed that I crash soon after myself, unless Facebook gets in the way again, of course. A lot of my friends are in different time zones so I often find myself logging in late at night for a quick look at what they are up to.

If you haven't seen the story Rushing Woman's Syndrome, you can find it in the Life & Style section on this website or on

There is plenty to be found on Facebook addiction on our website, too.

The second story that made me stop and think was about a phenomenon they call iGuilt. I found it on

This article deals with how parents, in particular, feel guilty about the fact that their world today is filled with technological distractions, from smartphones to laptops to iPads, which are increasingly hard to switch off.

This story linked to a website called, also to be found on Facebook. Just search for The Hands Free Revolution.

It's a page set up by Rachel Macy Stafford and it has well over 14,000 followers.

It reveals a disturbing recipe on how to miss a childhood, and this has everything to do with favouring your phone over your child.

The website, blog and Facebook page are meant for anyone who yearns to let go of daily distraction and perfection to grasp what truly matters in life, and I am going to take her advice to heart.

Even though electronic devices have made my life easier and the way I work more efficient, access to all this technology hasn't made me a better parent.

The time has come to take a good, hard look at my internet usage and the amount of precious personal time that is being consumed by it.

To find a better balance, I'll start with these baby steps: my phone will be switched off from time to time, our Sundays are going to be iPad and laptop free, family time will be more frequent and more focussed on creativity and play, and late-night Facebook sessions are going to be reduced to once or twice a week.

And finally, I will do my very best to not miss any of those special moments again just because I'm too busy tapping away on an electronic device. It really isn't worth it.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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