How digitally addicted are you?
Technology is not all bad – hey, it’s what we’re using to communicate on this very platform! Like everything though, balance is key.
Time Magazine reports that 68% of us sleep next to our phones, and that 81% of us have our smartphones within arm’s reach nearly all the time! 37% of adults check their devices every 30 minutes or less, while one in five young people admit to checking their screens every five minutes!
Just because something is common doesn’t make it “normal.” Our smartphones compete for a large chunk of space in our lives – some of which should be going to all those activities that keep us happy and sane… sleep, exercise, time with family and friends, reading books, time spent in the sun and in nature…
As parents, we HAVE to model the behaviour we want to see in our kids, if we don’t want to lose them into the irresistible digital vortex.
Control, don’t be controlled!
- Download Screen Time (ios) or Action-Dash (Android) and check out where you are spending (or losing!) your time – you will be surprised at the black holes of time in your day;
- Think about the first and last thing you do each day – is it checking your phone, and if so, can you replace it with something mindful, even if it is 5 minutes of contemplation?
- Switch off notifications for apps, so that you check in when YOU want too, not when they want you too!
- Delete entertainment apps that keep drawing you in, and then see how you feel at the end of that week – do you really need them back?
- Put your phone away, out of sight for meetings / get togethers/ conversations/ meals with other people;
- Don’t take your phone with you into the bathroom or toilet;
- Deactivate your smartwatch / phone interface for a week, and see how you feel at the end of the week;
- Use an alarm clock instead of your phone to wake you up;
- Set an alarm for your devices’ bedtime and put it on charge for the night, in a space outside your bedroom;
Here’s our challenge: Agree on a family “digital detox” for a week, implementing the above tips. At the end of the week, check in as to how everyone feels and decide what you might do differently going forward. It will be hard, but you gotta embrace the FOMO to get some JOMO! Let us know how it goes – we’d love to hear your feedback!