A healthier relationship with tech
It’s no great revelation that we all need to spend less time on our screens.
We all know it. If you’re a parent, at some point you will have missed that important thing your kids were trying to tell you as you scrolled through Instagram pictures of dogs doing funny things. You will have replied to an email from your boss, rather than replied to the question your partner just asked you. It happens.
But there are a few ways in which we can all have a healthier relationship with tech, without giving it up completely. Here are few thoughts.
Establish some boundaries
One of the problems (and of course great benefits) of technology is that is essentially boundless in terms of the amount of entertainment it brings.
There is so much content out there to be consumed that you could easily sit there, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the rest of your life, scrolling through Twitter, or streaming Netflix, or laughing at pictures of cats.
But this limitlessness is also its biggest challenge. When there are no clear boundaries, there is also no clear reason to stop. So, set them. Whether it a certain number of hours of screen time per day, no screens in the bedroom or even a tech de-tox weekend, it’s time to set some limits.
Enjoy using tech more
This might seem counter-intuitive, but you also actually need to make sure you are enjoying the time you spend with technology even more.
Note that this doesn’t mean spending more time using technology, but rather just making sure that you make the most of your time when you do.
This is all about conscious action – doing something with a full awareness of it, rather than mindlessly doing it without thinking. So be deliberate and fully engaged when you interact with technology. Do it with a purpose, enjoy it, and then stop doing it when you’ve achieved whatever it was you wanted to do.
Be proactive, not reactive
An extension of this more engaged approach towards tech is to make your relationship with it a proactive rather than reactive one. Meaning, when that notification is pops up on your screen, don’t just click on it. When you get an email, don’t feel you need to respond to it right now.
When you see a notification, pause, and think if now really is the best time to look at it. Or if it is an article or a piece of news you want to read, save it for a time when you can give it your full attention. A bookmarking tool like Pocket or Instapaper is great for this.
Ultimately, by not letting your phone or your computer dictate the rhythm of your life, you can begin to value the time you actually do spend with it – and with your friends and family – even more.
About Graham Tomlinson’s blog
Graham Tomlinson With this blog I aim to create an open website for sharing my mindfulness & self-improvement tips with as many people as possible.