I have a love/hate relationship with my phone, social media, and any and all technology. On the one hand, it's super convenient and makes my life really easy. On the other, it makes my life incredibly annoying and takes away from my "living in the moment." I can't stand when I hear an email or text message ding on my iPhone when I'm hanging out with my daughter. It's really hard to ignore. What if it's work? What if someone I know is in trouble?
For the past few weeks, I've been trying ease up on any and all technology in my life. Or at least have a healthier relationship with it and a clearer divide. The whole blending of work/family/socializing into one big mess? It's not a good look for me.
Here are 10 ways you can minimize your obsession with your phone, social media, computer, whatever. You owe it to yourself and your family.
1. Designate times for technology. Instead of casually checking your phone and email all day, tell yourself at 6 p.m., you're going to stop. And stop.
2. Leave your phone in the car when you go out. Let a family member know where you're going to be, and just leave the phone in the car and concentrate on whatever you should be concentrating on when you're out. It might prove to be slightly inconvenient, but the feeling of not having a phone on you is glorious.
3. Put your phone on "Do Not Disturb" an hour or so before bed. If you have an iPhone, the Do Not Disturb setting makes it so your alarm will go off, but no other noises. No text dings, no phone rings, no nothing.
4. Turn your ringer off when you're with the kids.
5. Don't get so caught up in taking photos with your phone and/or posting them to Facebook or Instagram. It totally takes you out of the moment, and isn't an actual memory better than a photo?
6. Quit Facebook and all forms of social media. You can do it. Trust me.
7. Post this Simone Weil quote someone in your house, and read it when you want to check your phone around your kids: "Attention is the purest form of generosity."
8. Get rid of your phone and just have a land line. For most of us, this isn't really an option, but for those of you who can do it, do it!
9. Get a desktop computer instead of a laptop. It's much, much easier to be on a computer when said computer is compact. If you have to go to a certain room to log on, you'll be on a lot less.
10. Get a teeny-tiny data plan for your phone. If you have to pay every time you send a text or use that 3G goodness, you'll cut down.
Are you on your phone a lot?
Image via Seth Sawyers/Flickr