Happy New Year!
I can hardly believe another year has gone by. And since I had a birthday recently, it also means I’m another year older…and hopefully wiser? I decided to start out my blog for 2017 with wise words on getting unplugged.
In December, I decided to completely disconnect for a while. A vacation in Jamaica was the motivation to schedule a series of 12 blog posts scheduled to be posted while I was on vacation. After that, both my kids were coming home for the holidays and I wanted to be available for family time. I stayed on my digital diet for the most part. Yep–no twitter, minimal Facebook and I didn’t turn my computer on for 3 weeks! In fact, it was hard to get back to reality. Because being unplugged was awesome! Need a #digitaldiet? Check out the benefits and get started here. bit.ly/2k8ncuv Click To Tweet
Why Be Unplugged?
Did you know that the average adult checks their phone 110 times a day??!! That works out to once every 13 minutes, but increases to once every 6 seconds during the evening.
As a casual observer of other vacationers who were still “plugged in”, I saw a few things worth sharing. (Ok to be totally honest, I did look over my email briefly once a day on my phone but I didn’t respond to any!)
- Sometimes we are so into the “shareability” of a moment, that we don’t totally enjoy it. You know what I’m talking about. Instagram and Snapchat are fun to share your high times with friends, but limiting them or waiting until later to share can help you be more “present.” Even wanting to capture photos of every great view can take away from it.
- Electronics help babysit, but it can be overdone. I get it. Smartphones and iPads are a parent’s best friend when kids get bored or tired. (If only iPads had been around when we took those cross-country road trips when our kids were little!) But, as an observer, I’ve seen it take the quality out of family time and kids miss dinnertime stories that pass on the culture of a generation. While on vacation, I saw this way too often with kids who were old enough to be able to participate in conversation at the table.
- It’s hard to stay focused when plugged in. Ever go on Facebook to check something and then 30 minutes later you’ve gone to Pinterest, and then a few websites later and you’ve forgotten why you went to FB in the first place? (I certainly hope I’m not the only one this happens to!)
- Being too tethered to electronics, ironically, makes us less social. Case in point, the family behind us at dinner hardly spoke during the meal because they were all on their phones. If a friend or significant other has ever asked you to put down your phone or if you sometimes realize you missed a whole conversation, you know what I’m talking about.
Digital Diet–a 2017 Resolution?
Do you need a digital diet? Alas, there’s an app for that! Actually, several. If you’d like to get less connected this year, or at least connect smarter, here are a few to get you started.
Moment: “Put Down Your Phone and Get Back to Your Life!” is the motto of this app. The app tracks how much time you spend on your iphone or ipad every day. It also tracks how much time you spend on each app. It’s other app, Family Moment helps you manage and track your whole family’s phones and even has a setting for “Screen-free Dinner Time.” Sign me up–it’s free!
AppDetox helps you to calm down your mobile app usage, and take a digital detox. You are able to set your own rules for your apps to detox from some heavy usage and stop procrastinating and phubbing. You can also check out how often you are breaking your own rules get reminders when you slide. Android only.