We used to describe technology as…
“the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts,engineering, applied science, and pure science.”
Now… it’s defined as…
“the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization.”
Do you find yourself constantly checking email, text messages or social media? Is your smartphone or tablet the first thing you reach for in the morning, or the last thing you put down at night? If this sounds like you, then you are tethered to technology and probably missing out on what is actually going on around you.
Below are some tips on how to disconnect – so you can connect with your family, friends and with your kids from Working Mother Magazine.
- Customize your notifications. Give important contacts (your husband, boss, nanny, etc.) their own ringtones and text tones. Only respond to key contacts when you’re trying to have uninterrupted time with your kids, family or friends. Everyone else can wait.
- Create tech-free zones. Make a pact that you’ll stay off your phone during key “connect times”. Those should include meal times, when you’re in the car with your husband, wife or kids, and an hour or so before your child’s bedtime. Kids feel more valued when you actually look at them and listen to them without any distractions.
- Set specific “check in” times. If you have to be on call for work issues at night or on weekends, let co-workers know you’ll check for messages once an hour, or at specified times. That way, there’s no need to glance constantly at your phone. Tell your family or friends about your check-in policy so they know ahead of time what to expect.
- Remind yourself that you’re setting an example. If you create some tech boundaries for yourself, your child is more likely to follow your family’s rules with his or her electronics.
There are always exceptions to technology rules, but do yourself a favor and disconnect every once in a while. Time goes by so fast, and you don’t want to miss out on amazing things that are going on around you in the physical world.