7 Ways To Have A Healthier Relationship With Technology
How many of us can say that we have a healthy relationship with technology? Though we try to convince ourselves that technology doesn’t rule our lives, the truth is that it plays a huge part in our daily routines.
From checking your phone when you first wake up to late nights on your laptop, it’s rare to get a moment away from technology. In fact, most people spend nearly 2 hours on social media every day. That’s the same as spending over 5 years of your lifetime scrolling through Instagram (yikes!).
Though technology can connect us with our loved ones and help us build friendships with people anywhere in the world, it can also make us forget to nourish our in-person connections. We all know how disheartening it is to have a conversation with someone whose eyes are fixated on their phone. I’m sure you’ve probably done the same thing to people you love too.
Because I’m all about the idea of being more mindful when it comes to technology, I’ve teamed up with Wente Vineyards to share 7 ways you can achieve a better balance and healthier relationship with screens. Keep reading to find out how you can #MakeTime for what matters in your life beyond the distractions that rule your everyday life.
Paying Attention To Our Technology Habits
Before we get into the tips, let’s talk about our habits around technology. Most of us aren’t even aware of how much time we really spend on our phones and computers.
In the video below, Wente Vineyards interviewed people and shared eye-opening results on how much time people spent on technology in a month.
After learning these numbers, people were asked what they wanted to spend that time on instead. Of course, everyone said spending time with the people they loved.
The #MakeTime initiative is about saying no to distractions because time is precious and must be lived with purpose.
We have to be more aware and conscious of where we put our time and energy. That means paying attention to our habits on social media and technology, and making a conscious effort to be a little less dependent on our phones and laptops.
Without further ado, here are 7 tips for limiting your screen time so you can be more present and focused doing the things you love with the people you care about.
7 Ways To Improve Your Relationship With Technology
1. Understand why you want to make a change
Before you can have a healthier relationship with technology, it’s important to know your reason for doing so. Is it because you keep comparing yourself to others? You feel like you’re not present with your loved ones? You can’t stay focused on work? Once you’ve identified your reasons for wanting a healthier relationship with technology, it’s a lot easier to change some of your habits.
2. Keep your phone on do not disturb mode
Whether you’re spending time with others or simply trying to have a productive day, putting your phone on do not disturb mode is one of the best ways to avoid getting distracted. I permanently have my phone set to do not disturb because it means I only reach for my phone when I have a reason to, not because I have a new notification to check. Also try turning off banner and badge notifications. It may feel alienating to not see notifications right away, but most of them aren’t time sensitive and don’t need to be dealt with right away.
3. Stay away from your phone when you’re with friends and family
I’m definitely guilty of whipping out my phone whenever there’s a lull in the conversation if I’m with other people. Sometimes we use technology as a way to fill silence instead of embracing the quiet or adding to the conversation. But I think it’s really important to show that you’re present when you’re with other people. Hide your phone in another room or leave it in your bag instead of having it with you at all times. That way, you’re less likely to pick it up whenever you encounter a silent moment.
4. Delete apps from your phone on the weekend
I’ve heard a lot of people delete social media apps from their phone on the weekend as a way to be more present and in the moment. Not only does this remove any temptation to quickly check social media, it also means that you’re forced to make contact with your friends beyond social media to see what they’re up to. You could also try having a technology-free day on a Saturday or Sunday to completely stay off the radar.
5. Default to keeping your phone out of sight
I’ve noticed that a lot of times, I pick up my phone and get distracted simply because it’s in my line of sight. It’s so tempting to check in with what’s going on when your phone is right in front of you. Instead, try keeping your phone out of plain sight. I like to hide my phone behind my laptop screen or in my bag when I’m working so I kind of forget about it. You could also just put it in another room. This also works well when you’re hanging out with friends or family because you’re less tempted to pick up your phone mid-conversation.
6. Set a timer for scrolling
Sometimes you just want to catch up and see what’s going on with your friends on Instagram and Facebook. There’s nothing wrong with that, except for when an hour goes by and you realize you’re deep in the Instagram explore page. Try creating a time limit for yourself instead (like 10-15 minutes), set a timer on your phone, and scroll away to your heart’s desire until the timer goes off.
7. Encourage others to #MakeTime
Most of us find it hard to detach from technology simply because everyone else we know is attached to it too. We all know those people who get offended when we don’t respond to them right away or pull out their phones when we’re in the middle of a conversation. If we truly want to have a healthier relationship with technology, we need to encourage others to do the same. That way, it won’t feel quite so alienating or strange to our friends and families if we aren’t answering calls or responding to texts immediately. Set those boundaries with your loved ones and encourage them to do the same in their lives.
What’s Your Relationship With Technology Like?
I hope this post has given you some ideas to find a better balance with relationship. I’d love for you to join the #MakeTime movement too – share this post with a friend who you want to make time for!
Thank you to Wente Vineyards for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.