Smartphones, handheld devices, iPods and computers aren’t bad. The problem is how we’ve allowed them consume us.
Consider a digital detox, time without screens or maybe even text messages. Go on a social media sabbatical and connect with people face to face. Remove the earbuds and listen to the birds. Do it for a day, a week, a month or make it a smartphone-free summer and see what happens. You’ll probably find things to talk about that you didn’t see online. You may find more time to spend with loved ones, exercise, read a novel, or feel the sun.
Afraid you will miss something by taking a break? Maybe you already are.
8 Tips for Digital Dieting
1. Limit use to specific times during the day and stick to those times.
2. Resolve to give all people, especially children, your full attention in interactions.
3. Turn off your Wi-Fi connection. Phone calls will still come through.
4. Visit your settings pages and disable “push notifications” and “alerts” so you are the one to determine when you check for messages.
5. Set aside technology during meals, an hour after waking and at least an hour before bedtime.
6. If you’re foregoing social media for an extended time you could let people know with a status update telling them the best way to reach you (phone call, visit, mail). You could change your profile picture to “Back on 9/1/16” or whatever date you’ve chosen.
7. Keep a journal of your unplugged experiences, note times of day you feel most compelled to check in. Note feelings of ease or focus you may experience from having fewer distractions.
8. Decide which parts of your digital life matter the most to you and be conscious about the time you spend there.