Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Minimizing your screen time

One of the primary things people talk about and think about when it comes to minimalism is getting rid of stuff. And that’s a big part of it. However, I feel, as do many others, that minimalism is about relationships.....with things, people and in the case I’ll be talking about today, technology.

Technology is awesome, isn’t it? Well, it can be. I remember growing up without an answering machine until I was in high school. We had a rotary dial phone until I was in 6th grade. And in the time since the 90’s phones have gone from big and bulky, to fitting in your pocket...if you have the right sized phone. But technology can be distracting. How often do you look around, if you’re looking up from your phone at all, to see people walking and looking down at their phones? We’re obsessed with our screens. We’re connected whenever we want to, which is good and bad.

I did a personal experiment when we were on vacation in July. I didn’t really look at my phone much for anything at all. I used it to play podcasts and music when I went for walks, but that was pretty much it. I limited my time to check e-mail, rarely checked social media. The shocking thing was....I SURVIVED! Tomorrow, my girls start back to school. We’re getting back into routines. And that’s the one thing I’m going to be doing more often. Getting back to using my phone to make and receive phone calls, minimal texting, and checking social media and e-mail twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I’ve realized that I’ve personally become very engrossed in my screens, and it’s something that I cannot continue to do if I want to be productive.

I’d encourage you to consider your interaction with screens. Are you also finding yourself distracted by them? There are times I’ve considered going to a “dumb phone”, but haven’t gone there yet. Maybe you have. That’s great if you have. I think that getting rid of apps goes a long way. If I want to use Facebook, I have to log in and use it. It takes more time and work to do it. So I have to think about it before I do it. Breaking habits are hard. This week will be tough, no doubt about it. But I know that I can intentionally do it. I’d love to hear your feedback on what you do in regard to screen time!

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