This summer, I’ve been happily “out of the service area” many times … no (or painfully slow) service has served me well and reminded me of the importance of “unplugging.”
As I was reminded, I will remind you …
We don’t need to be “available” all of the time.
We don’t need to provide an answer immediately.
It’s perfectly okay to set some device boundaries … some regular (device-related) practices.
Here are a few ideas to get you started …
Consider putting your phone (or other device) down or away when someone else enters “the room” … show them they matter … show them that they are more important than whatever is occupying your attention on your device … if it is LEGIT something important, just quickly explain that to others (or go somewhere private to address such matters).
Commit to no devices (or TV) during meal or snack time … don’t answer the phone during these times either.
Set up a “schedule” of sorts for when you “check” your phone … for messages, emails, or missed calls … turn off notifications (and strongly consider “silent mode” or at least vibrate as a regular practice).
If you have a business, follow “business hours” (and respond accordingly).
Shut down all “screens” at a certain time each day (until a certain time the next day).
Decide how “the scroll” serves you … does it fill you up? Or does it deflate you? Does it make you feel better or do you get stuck in an icky comparison trap? Are you anxiously awaiting “likes” and “comments”? How do you feel if they don’t materialize?
Get comfortable with “missing out” … get acquainted with “not knowing” … if there’s something in particular you’re wondering about or need to find out about, look it up or ask a friend (no need to scroll to find out) … if it’s REALLY important, you’ll find out about it. I’m absolutely sure of it.
Focus on ONE screen at a time … i.e. don’t watch TV AND scroll on your phone (or computer) at the same time … pick ONE or the other … or (better yet) neither … read a book instead, be present with the other humans in your house, get creative, go for a walk, do something you love, get some extra (much-needed) rest, or try being (pleasantly) productive.
Consider using your device’s built-in “time limits” or “downtime.”
Finally, realize that it’s OKAY to NOT have pictures of EVERYTHING you (or your kids) do … sometimes, it’s okay to just leave your phone in the vehicle (or at home) … and just BE PRESENT with the humans in front of you … consider making memories with your mind and with your heart (instead of worrying about getting the next (perfect) share-worthy shot).
Of course, this is all just a little food for thought … it will be up to you to decide what changes (if any) you’ll make when it comes to the screens and devices you use in your life … there’s much to be grateful for when there’s no (or limited) service though. Perhaps we could “draw in” a few of those gifts into our “everyday” life as well.
Is it time for YOU to set a screen time boundary, goal, or practice? Is it time for you to discover the gift of being “unplugged”?