This post is Part 6 of a 10 part series that is an extension of this post I wrote on the subject of the importance of introducing some regular Digital Detox time in our lives. In that post I listed 10 Good Reasons to introduce regular Digital Detox time into our lives. Each week for 10 weeks I will expand a little on each of those 10 reasons listed. If you haven’t already, you might like to check out: Part 1 – De-Clutter Your Mind, Part 2 – Reconnect to the Present, Part 3 – Conduct a Self-Audit, Part 4 – Get Outdoors in Nature and Part 5 – Chip away at those extra elusive little chores. This week we look at:
SPEND SOME TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES
Well ‘der’ most of us spend time with loved ones! Of course we do! But is it good quality time? This one is pretty self-explanatory but it certainly doesn’t hurt to give ourselves a little prod now and then to remind us to not let time slip away, because we are lost in the vortex of the digital world, without making sure we take the time for creating memories with our families and keeping the connections strong! Loved ones may also include close friends. How long since you caught up with your closest friends? Sometimes messaging on Facebook or by email or text message isn’t quite the same as actually being with each other communicating in the old-fashioned way, you know?
Social media and the digital age of today is fantastic and amazing and I do love it BUT it can be oh so intrusive to our real lives and the interpersonal relationships and communications within it. It can stop us actually living real lives – if we let it! So many people are addicted to being constantly connected to social media. Obviously, as a blogger I love the internet and social media! It is true, but only to a point. I’m not a fan of ALL social media and I do find that too much time at the computer writing or reading and checking social media on the computer and/or my phone can be super draining! It can also suck away more time than necessary if you don’t have a plan and stick to it.
When internet communication was confined to just our desktop computers it was a little easier to keep it separate from our physical lives as we couldn’t take the computer everywhere with us! Now that we have smart phones and portable devices, such as iPads, tablets and laptops, we run the risk of having social media infiltrate our blood stream, becoming an addiction that stops us living properly in the world around us and that includes our relationships and communications with friends and family.
It concerns me how often I see people out with friends or family for lunch for example that are so totally fixated on their phones that they are not actually in the moment nor communicating with their loved ones! I’ve been guilty of this myself. As a blogger I often see something I’d like to snap a photo of and post to Instagram or my phone will buzz and I’ll want to see what it is. Nowadays though, I make more of a conscious effort to keep the ‘checking of my phone’ to a minimum when I’m out with others. If I want to snap that photo, then I will but I might wait until later to post it. It’s more important that I’m focused on being totally present with whoever I am with.
How many of us work all day, come home, cook and eat dinner and then either sit in front of the TV or at the computer. We may be ‘with’ the family but not actually ‘communicating’ with the family. Time around the dinner table for the evening meal is a prime opportunity for good quality communication and time together. Switch off the TV and no phones allowed at the table! Being the mother of three young adults, all with their own laptops and phones, I know only too well that effort must be made to keep the lines of communication open and this is something I still have to work on every day! I also need to keep watch on THEIR digital health as teenagers and young adults are prone to spending too much time on their computers and in their room. At the risk of sounding a bit like a drama queen, I really do think that addiction to computers for young people has the capacity to become an epidemic in today’s society! I’m not just talking about social media but also computer games!
So to wrap up, I would have to say that I believe that really good quality time with your loved ones is a VERY important element to include in the digital free time that you have in your life. Be present. Communicate with them. Check in with them. Are they ok? What is going on in their lives? Do they have any problems they want to talk over or achievements that should be celebrated? Be involved. Show them you care and are interested in them and their lives. After all, nothing in this life is more precious than our family and good friends.
Ciao for now,
p.s. The photograph used for this post was taken in February 2013 (before I knew how to use my camera properly) at Moffat Beach, Caloundra and yes that is my family. The tennis player up front with Ava as a puppy, followed by my daughter and behind her is Twin 1 and Twin 2 with Chelsea (dog).
Linking up with One Mother Hen for #openslather