It seems that everyone is addicted to electronics. The convenience of having everything on your cell phone is wonderful, but it also means that we’re looking down at it most of the day. I know it isn’t healthy, but it has become a societal norm.
The modern world is full of electronic devices, and it can be hard to break away from them. With so many distractions at our fingertips, we may find ourselves getting lost in the digital landscape for hours. While these devices are useful and even necessary for some tasks, they can also cause us to become addicted without realizing it.
I find it challenging to get my children off their electronics. They learn so much from online sites, but it also pulls them away from important stages of social development. And, I’m sure there’s some “Money See, Money Do.” It’s difficult telling my children to put down their electronic devices when they see me stuck in the digital world, as well.
It’s easy for technology and gadgets to take over our lives, but it’s important to remember that we still have control over our tech habits. Here are some tips on how to break you and your children free from their electronics addiction:
Be mindful about how and when you use technology. Are there certain times during the day when technology is being overused? Identify the triggers that lead to overuse. Set limits when you identify specific times of overuse or specific triggers that cause you and your family to reach for their electronic devices.
Make time for activities that bring you joy. Focus on activities that allow you to engage without technology, such as reading or playing sports. Pick up a hobby like painting, photography, or even gardening. Learn a new language. Spend time outdoors and connect with nature. Hiking and bird watching are great ways to get out of the house and explore the natural world around you. Reading is another great way to avoid spending time in front of a screen. You can either buy physical books or relax and close your eyes while listening to an audiobook. Sign up for music lessons or teach yourself at home.
Try some yoga breathing exercises. Not only is it incredibly calming and relaxing, but it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. All you need is a few minutes and your breath – no phone required!
When your brain needs a break from the work in front of you, do you switch to your cell phone instead? Let yourself get bored and find activities that don't involve electronics. Find fun activities that you can do with family and friends instead of staring at a screen. Avoid using your devices during stressful or anxious moments. Find other physical ways to relieve those jitters. If you pick up your phone or web browse on your computer each time you are feeling stressed, you are actually training yourself into this particular addiction.
Establish rules for yourself and your children to limit your tech use, such as not using technology after a certain hour, or setting aside certain areas of the home where electronics are off-limits. You can also set a time for screen time limits. Be sure to stick to any regulations you set. if you limit your children, be sure to limit yourself as well.
Connect with other people in real life. Instead of constantly reaching out to people over electronic devices, take the time to connect with others in person. Spending more time with family and friends can be a great way to break away from your addiction. Making connections with people is one of the most important aspects of life. Whether you go out for dinner or just talk in person or over the phone, building relationships will help you create meaningful memories that you can look back on.
It may sound ironic to use an app to control your screen time, but there are specific programs that can be used to assist you with spending quality time away from phones and computers. Apps such as Moment, Rescue Time, Offtime and Freedom are useful tools that can provide detailed analytics about your screen time and set limits when needed to help you stay in control. Websites such as Webwise and Take Back Your Time provide advice and tools that can guide you on your journey to a more sane relationship with your devices.
Breaking an electronics addiction won’t happen immediately. Take small steps each day to regulate your electronic use. The key is to find activities that interest you and help you relax without relying on your phone for entertainment. Time spent away from your phone is time well spent. You can use this opportunity to connect with the people around you, explore new hobbies and appreciate the world without constantly being distracted.
Breaking free will rejuvenate you and have profound effects on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Guaranteed.