A few weeks ago I announced my Live Simple membership program for 2017. However, I’ve since decided to postpone. Why? I spend too much time online already. So what to do? Over the last few months, I’ve developed 7 ways to limit technology.
Technology in itself is not the enemy; our addictive-like behavior in using it is. I’m not a big fan of TV. It seems I’m not alone, based on one of my most popular posts, 5 Reasons To Turn Off Your TV Screen. I own a TV, but I watch it very little. Keeping my daughter from watching too much is another challenge altogether.
My weakness is the Internet, especially social media. I’m a blogger. It’s hard to completely avoid social media. I want to share my work. I want to help others. Sometimes it gets overwhelming and I find myself too tied up with screens.
As a culture we’ve started relying on technology more than ever before. Our phones have become our personal assistants. We don’t go anywhere without them. It’s not unusual to see people using their phones during the most personal of events. I’m no exception. I was a late adaptor because I’ve always tried to limit technology. I finally gave in a few years ago. To try to keep my use of technology limited, I developed these 7 strategies:
7 Ways To Reduce Your Use Of Technology
- Don’t take it in the bedroom: I don’t have a perfect record here, but I make an honest attempt to keep technology out of the bedroom. In the past month, I’ve been successful all but a handful of times. I’m single. A computer in the bedroom doesn’t hurt my relationship with a partner. So what’s the problem? The problem with taking screens into the bedroom is simple. You wind up staying up too late. You get less sleep. In the end, it hinders your productivity during the day and your relationships in the offline world.
- Don’t wake up with it: What do you do when you first get out of bed? I’ll admit that I’ve been guilty of going straight to my computer to check my statuses. It’s better to create a routine where screens aren’t your first priority. Now I drink a big glass of water. I take care of my dog, Shep. I do any unfinished chores. I exercise. I sit quietly with green tea. I save the screen until a little bit later in the morning.
- Set a curfew: I’m guilty again. I’ve tried to set an 8pm curfew for technology, but as a single dad who blogs, some of my most productive writing time is after my daughter goes to bed. I do make a point to go screen-free for a short period of time before bed. This gives my mind and body a little time to unwind from the blue light.
- Take days off: Do you ever take a screen-free day? I make a point to occasionally leave all devices at home and go out for the day. It’s an amazingly freeing feeling. Try it. I think you’ll like it.
- Take a tech-free vacation: Last summer, I turned off my Internet at home for 90 days. It was a challenge. I’m doing it again this summer. I still have my smartphone, but can only use 3GB’s of data without paying extra. Consider an Internet vacation at home. Or you could leave all devices at home while you take a real vacation.
- Create a social-media plan: One goal I have for 2016 is to create a social-media plan. When you have several blogs and several social media accounts, this can be a challenge. One thing I’ve learned is that a plan must be written down. Mine is still a work in progress. If you designate certain time periods or certain numbers of posts per day, you won’t get stuck on Facebook for hours on end.
- Stop counting: After a near-fatal error in updating a program here on Hip Diggs earlier this year, I decided to take a break from statistics. Part of blogging is watching your numbers. It helps you to know what content works best. The problem is that it’s easy to get caught up in checking and rechecking your numbers. There were many days that I spent an hour studying my stats. It’s been freeing to let that go for now.
Could You Disconnect For A Week?
There are days I’d like to disconnect from technology completely. I still remember the days without computers. Being connected can have as many negative outcomes as positive. If you’re intentional about your technology use, you can use it in a healthy manner. I hope these 7 strategies to limit your use of technology have helped you on your simple-living journey.