Written by: Elizabeth Smith Miller, Communications Coordinator, National Safe Place Network
It’s no doubt technology has made life more…let’s say convenient. Technology has provided increased accessibility for education, safety, healthcare, and entertainment. It has also paved a new way to build “social connections”. But, with these new “social connections” – are we really connecting? Technology enables increased efficiency and productivity; however, it has disabled true conversation, connection, and togetherness. Take a moment and watch a powerful video authored by Prince Ea. In this video, he shares a simple message to encourage you to be balanced, mindful, and present. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRl8EIhrQjQ
Some have argued that technology has strengthened communication; however, I believe technology has made communication faster and shorter – not stronger. In fact, I believe communication is strongest when no form of technology is involved at all.
I have found technology – as wonderful as it is – often times interrupts, rather than improves our lives. Look around; you’ll begin to notice how society is starting to live through technology instead of taking the brilliant science behind it to meet certain needs. So many moments are being lost because they are being experienced through a (screen) filter. I want to shout – “LIVE IN THE MOMENT!” I mean, don’t you want to experience something you enjoy first hand and not through a screen? I was at a concert one evening and I was recording the song I had been waiting for all day. About half-way through, I realized I was watching it through my screen. With excitement, I had been waiting for that very moment and almost missed the entire thing. I wasn’t allowing myself to experience something joyful. I was watching it with a filter, which I could have just as easily watched on screen from home. It was that moment that I realized the value of just enjoying the in-person experience. When you have a better connection with your phone than a person, you are living life through technology. It’s time to make some changes. Live life unfiltered; live in the moment.
Here are five ways you can start living life unfiltered:
- Adjust your morning routine.
- Put your phone out of reach. Many of us sleep with the phone right beside us and the first thing we do in the morning is check our emails or social media accounts. Try starting the day off with a nice stretch or meditation instead.
- Leave home without it.
- That’s right…leave your phone at home. Plan a day with the family or by yourself and leave the technology at home. If you’re concerned about an emergency, let others know where you’ll be and what time you expect to get home. If there is an actual emergency, they will do what they did before cell phones… they will find you.
- Eat and be merry.
- Make your time at the table, chair, or couch technology free. Simply enjoy your meal and savor each bite. Not only is it the healthiest option, it’s also a way to actually connect with others – or yourself if you choose to have a bite alone.
- Don’t drop one piece of technology for another.
- While smart phones have become a one-stop-shop for all things, technology doesn’t begin and end there. If you truly want to disconnect for a while – turn the television off too. Instead, go outside and plant a flower or tree, pull out the big tub of photos (you know – the ones you had to go and get developed to see them.) Sit down around a table and relive the memories or share those memories with those who weren’t there – especially those who don’t know what life is like without the technology of today.
- Don’t allow over-stimulation to control your life.
Here’s a fun life-hack where you can make a quick change to help you avoid over-stimulation and potentially reduce the urge to constantly check your smart phone: http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/480240/adventures-in-grayscale/?utm_source=SFTwitter