This summer I decided to do a digital detox. What a hard thing to tackle. It tested my patience to not be in the know. I wondered what was
going on in others lives, but this time gave me space to be present with others. This is why it started in the first place, to be present in my little kids lives. Summer’s are always such precious times as families.
Take a step back
Taking a step back from the news, social media and other outlets truly helped me to refresh. It was such a lovely summer of refreshment. I’m thinking a much shorter digital detox once a year will be a great way to reset life and expectations. A few of the things I learned are how to be more present, how to not carry my phone around, and how to have a conversation again with my family.
Technology isn’t a bad thing and it provides people the ability to communicate in an instant. But sometimes it can get in the way of communicating with those right next to you. I noticed last April as I was recovering from surgery that I was spending too much time on my phone. Granted laying on the couch after surgery is the time to read the news. None of that is bad, but I noticed I would get perturbed when one of my kids would interrupt me while I was catching up on world happenings. That’s when I decided to take on digital detox over the summer and try to be present with my family. So we created the ideas of adventures where we would go explore local hangouts. The kids love adventures and that’s what we call our outings. We realized we were onto something which would extend beyond summer.
This led to the next thing which was to buy a regular watch. I had read up on several reviews of the Apple Watch to find that it emits a lot of radiation. As a cancer survivor the last thing I need is more radiation. This parlayed into me looking into regular watches, so I wouldn’t use my phone as a watch. It’s been amazing to leave my phone on the counter and be able to tell time from my wrist. Again, nothing against technology, but I felt like I was accomplishing two goals with buying a watch.
Put your phone up
Putting your phone up and not having it around when you eat meals together isn’t a new concept. My husband currently works for a technology company and I used to work for a software company where you’re expected to have your phone on you. I finally got my husband to agree to leaving it on the counter during dinner even if it’s just 15 minutes. His employees always call during dinner, so we’re used to being interrupted. However, Mike has finally started telling people he’ll call them back because we’re eating dinner. Coming to consensus over meals is huge for us as a family and it made a big difference. With the start of school it’s very cute to hear the kid’s stories at meal time. Our conversations are growing and the kids can see a difference in our attitudes.
A side note, next year when I do a digital detox it will be for a smaller amount of time. I realized that I can do it for 2 months, but 3 months is when I started posting the cool things going on in life. I also wanted to see what was going on with my friends who live far away. Digital detoxing was a wonderful goal to complete and provided me with new insights to incorporate into life. We all struggle with different aspects of the digital world, but making a point to be present in your current world will make your digital life much more interesting.