“We do not have Wi-Fi. Talk to each other. Pretend it’s 1995.”
I recently saw a sign in a coffee shop that said just this. It made me think, what did we do back then? Before we hit this age of technology, this world of non-stop information and media.
I think we were more present back then…and we seem to have lost that.
Americans spend at least eight hours a day staring at a screen. And more than one-third of smartphone users get online before they get out of bed (I’m guilty). We have become obsessed with constantly checking for the latest and greatest, or making sure we don’t fall behind in the continuous stream of updates and posts. But do we actually benefit from all of this information? Does it fill a gap in our lives to feel connected to people, places, and things, without actually being there?
We have become unable to have a moment alone, without our phone, tablet or computer. Our brains have become accustomed to constant stimulation. It also seems as though we are unable to experience anything without taking a picture or video of it. We’re experiencing our lives through a screen. Watching our lives later in the day when we could have actually been present and fully experienced it at the time it happened. Doesn’t that sound crazy?! I think the 1995 you (or me) would think so.
It’s time to get offline and get back into our life!
THE solution: disconnect to reconnect
Now, let’s be realistic…I know that I can’t totally get rid of my devices. As a blogger and social media guru, I am too dependent (aka..addicted) to technology to go on a significant hiatus. But what I can do is start to be more mindful. Hey, if I can do it so can YOU!
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings in the present moment.
Try some of these helpful tips:
Start by setting a goal to spend at least one hour a day off the electronic grid, without a phone, computer…without access to an electronic device. Build up to several hours a day.
Limit your time on social media, literally set a timer.
Replace that time you would have spent on your phone or computer with a hobby.Get outside, run, walk, play, cook or read! (I have been running without any devices…no music…for years now.It was tough getting used to at first but I find it so liberating now!)
Let others know what you’re doing so they can hold you accountable.
Be mindful about checking your phone during and actual, face to face conversations.Maybe start an accountability jar.A dollar every time you check your phone during a live convo?
Don’t take your electronics to bed.Use an actual alarm clock instead of your phone.
The next time you have an event to go to, whether it’s a dinner with friends or your child’s recital, leave your phone at home or in the car.
Be completely there in the moment.Enjoy uninterrupted conversation and/or watch your little star…in real time.
Our ability to stay balanced in this time of technological growth, and to create healthy relationships with each other and our digital devices, will determine how we, as humans, develop relationships in the future. Seems heavy I know, but I have hope.
A fun book I just ordered to help me stay on track:
Join us for THE great fall detox and gently cleanse your body, mind and soul!