It has been a while since I wrote on managing our digital screens but I recently saw an article that has some good advice. You can read the whole thing here. The main idea is that our relationship with ourselves and others often suffers becuase we are too focused on digital devices. These things are designed to commandeer our attention all the time unless we deliberately plan our escape. Seven tips are suggested on how to moderate the way we are impacted by our digital devices.
Tip 1. When we are with people, put the phone away and be present with that person. Look them in the eyes and really listen to what they are saying. When you do this you are building a meaningful relationship that social media can’t duplicate.
Tip 2. If you need to talk to someone do not send a text message. OK so texting is really efficient for many things, but when you want to connect with people in a meaningful way, do it face-to-face or at least in a live phone conversation.
Tip 3. Don’t give your kids digital devices before they have developed good in-person social skills. In order to know how to do Tip 1, people need to practice listening, making eye contact and being aware of the people around them. That is best learned before they have strapped on a 24 x 7 distraction.
Tip 4. Make rules about when phones will be put away so that family members can interact without interruption.
Tip 5. Don’t get sucked into endlessly online games, posts, and chats. Leave your phone at home and take a walk with someone and talk with them while you enjoy the sites, sounds, and smells around you. Set aside a few days once in a while to take a longer break from social media.
Tip 6. Don’t be a slave to your phone by responding immediately to every call and text it sends your way. When you are with family and friends think twice before you jump to answer that text message or phone call. Unless it really is urgent, you can get back to them later.
Tip 7. Have digital-free zones. The dining table in our house is a digital-free zone where we eat and talk without phones, TVs, and computers.
These seven tips can help restore your spiritual, physical, and mental health. Love yourself a little and fill your own emotional bucket and then take some in-person time with others to listen, serve, work, and play. Getting away from the digital world once in a while makes for simple and easy living.