Technology has become a true part of the American experience and, while it can connect us to loved ones, to sushi delivery, and to yoga classes, the downsides to an “over-connected life” are plentiful as well.
We spend a great deal of time on our phones or other digital devices and can sometimes neglect our daily routine, the goals we’ve set, or even those we care about, while attending to our devices. Even as these devices allow us to communicate with family overseas or a potential employer, we may find that we need a break from our devices to reconnect with the people, activities, and experiences that matter most. Creating a “Tech Break” in our schedule can seem impossible because we feel so connected to our devices, but the following tips may help make the experience of disconnecting to reconnect possible.
Determine Why You Are Taking Your Tech Break:
Are you taking a break because you scroll through a particular social media platform for large chunks of time? Are you finding yourself regularly comparing your lives to the “Best of” social media personas? Are you answering emails during family dinners or reading articles next to a partner who is watching cat videos and feeling a lack of connection as a result? Are you simply in need of a break from the screen?
When we determine why we are taking a vacation from our devices or social media we can begin to design a break that addresses our needs and that works with our lifestyle.
Set Boundaries For Your Tech Break
Setting boundaries for this tech-free time can help you to stick with it. If you are someone who wants to stay off of social media for a while you may be focusing simply on those applications and you may want to decide on whether you want to check the applications a certain number of times per day or not at all for a certain number of days.
Perhaps you find yourself answering work emails unnecessarily during time with loved ones. Maybe your time off from devices will involve turning off email notifications or ignoring them once you leave the office.
Whatever boundaries you set for your time out from technology, be sure that you make these boundaries consciously and work to remain consistent during your break.
Turn Off Notifications You Don’t Truly Need
Turning off unnecessary notifications is a step we may all be able to take, even if we are not ready for a full time out from our devices. Do you need the “Deals on Down Comforters” notifications from a discount app? Do you get unwarranted notifications about “likes” you’ve received? By turning off notifications we don’t need we can free ourselves from feeling endlessly attached to our devices.
Create “Tech Free Zones” In Your Home Or Workspace
While a full Tech Break may not be your cup of tea, designating places and spaces where you will not be using your devices may help you to make some space in your life to reconnect to what matters. Perhaps you leave your phone in the living room when you head into the bedroom. Maybe you decide as a family that there will be no device use in the kitchen or at the dinner table. Whatever “Tech Free Zones” you create, be sure that you can maintain them and that they allow you to reconnect with loved ones.
Designate A Time To Take A Mini-Break Each Day
If going “tech-free” or “social media silent” for days or weeks at a time is not something you are ready, willing, or able to do, you can still create opportunities to disconnect and reconnect. Perhaps you can select time for a “mini” tech hiatus in your day or a few times a day. By planning your day and including these smaller breaks, you may be able to experience greater connection, grounding, and presence each day.
Whether you’re in it for a long-haul break from social media or are creating space away from your devices in your daily life, remember that consistency (not perfection) will serve as a positive goal.
Do you already take “Tech Breaks”? Let us know how they help you to reconnect with who and what really matters and reach out to us for more ways to reconnect to your local recovery community!