One of the top reported New Year’s resolutions was to spend less time on your phone and more time in the moment with family and friends.
It’s more challenging than you probably originally thought! The average individual spends around 3.6 hours a day on their phone. If the numbers displayed teens only, that number would be even higher. This data purely reflects cell phone usage, it does not include all the other screens that we interact with on a daily basis. If your phone has become a “time stealer”, and has distracted you from those around you, here are some ideas that may help you be more present.
- Turn off the notifications.
This might seem obvious, (and scary!) but not receiving the constant buzzes and bings of every notification can help you avoid constantly checking your phone. Almost all of our apps give us the option to be notified of updates within it. Do you really need to know the second Aunt Mary posts a picture of her dog, or when your best friend from high school goes to the gym on Facebook? Social media has the power to quickly suck you in, and once you open the app, 45 minutes can easily go by without you realizing the time you’re spending. This doesn’t mean you have to go off the grid and post a status update telling all your friends you’re ditching social media…it just means having designated times to check in.
2. Establish phone-free zones.
If your household is like most, even on the rare occasion everyone is together, phones are in hand. It’s a tough habit to break. When quality time is the goal, set a basket out for everyone to put their phone in. No calls, text, or snapchats invading your evening makes for deeper conversation opportunities. Having the phones physically out of reach during these times will help with the temptation to even just take a peek. Designate times that work for you and your family or friends that you agree to ditch the phones so that you can all interact and be present.
3. Plan engaging activities.
With technology grabbing all of our attention and our time, it is hard to keep everyone’s attention. Plan activities that will engage everyone. Most of our games we play are now on our phones, and we play against strangers that we have no connection to. Introducing a new card or board game is a great way to foster teamwork and conversation with your friends and family.
In a technology-driven society, it has become the expectation to answer the text, email or message immediately. The more of us that choose to priortize family and friends over our phones in 2019, the sooner that culture can shift. Make it your resolution to unplug and engage with the people you love.