For something that can connect people, technology can also lead to disconnect in relationships.
Maybe technology is how you found your partner. Maybe it’s the way you stay connected in your long-distance relationship or how you get quality time when one of you is traveling for work. Maybe it’s how you give yourself the opportunity to meet people you may not otherwise meet. Or maybe technology is how you stalk an ex and see who he’s dating now. Maybe it’s how you secretly engage with others while your partner watches a show sitting right next to you.
Much of our society has become addicted to the use of technology and its disconnecting ways. So much so that research shows the average American adult spends 11 hours with digital media a day—WOAH.
Yes, there are plenty of ways that technology is of service to us—as it should be celebrated—but too much of the time it disconnects us from ourselves and the people we love.
Whether it’s sitting at the dinner table with our phones out to walking the streets with our heads down to spending hours perusing social media—we can all use a serious unplug from technology. No matter how you slice it. ?
We could all also use a serious reboot of the deliberate way in which we use it. We have to shift to using it to serve us, instead of it being a disservice to us and we must keep boundaries with our time.
Be deliberate with your time and set boundaries for yourself; it’s so easy to get lost in the deep sea of the internet.
Allow 20 minutes to peruse and then shut it down. Using social media to obsess? Quit it. I know it’s tough, but those reminders are so unhelpful as you work towards your healing.
Home for the night with your partner? Don’t just turn your phones over, shut ‘em down and put them in a different room.
Did you know that research shows us that we still perceive our partners to be distracted even when their phones are flipped over and not in use? Our phones just being present are distracting us and disconnecting us from the people we love.
Spending time comparing yourself to insta models? Shut it down—this game leaves us feeling less than. The decision to spend hours doing that puts us in a space that supports a negative story about ourselves. That’s just not cool.
Here’s the challenge and things you can try:
1. Put your social media apps into one folder and title it “Are You Sure?”—a friend of mine did this and I thought it was a brilliant idea. What a great way to check yourself when you’re about to engage. If you’re sure, then go for it. If you’re not sure, put it down.
2. Take this week to commit to doing things that will fill you up with joy, connection and some major feel good feelings about yourself. If your decision is going to detract from that—leave it. If it can enhance it, then it’s a go.
3. If you have a partner, turn your phones off, tv off and tablets off and leave them far away from you so you’re able to connect with each other. If you don’t have a partner, do the same.
Move it out of your space at a certain point in your night and connect more deeply to yourself. Read, write, meditate, go to sleep earlier... Whatever it is, set a time where connection becomes the priority.
4. Take one weekend half day to get out without your phones. Leave them at home. Go explore and be connected to the people you’re with or the environment around you.
5. If you’re using technology to numb and avoid, reach out for help. You’re just going to keep adding to your shame spiral. Using technology to disconnect you from your vulnerability or your problems doesn’t lead you anywhere good.
Bottom line: We do love our technology—but make sure you the real people in your life that you love them more. ?