We live in a world where we’re constantly attached to our devices, be they smart phones, tablets, computers and gaming consoles. There’s a never-ending choice of games, movies, and series to keep us occupied. They’re instantly available (in most cases for a price, of course) and as a result we’re instantly satisfied.
Of course, social media platforms also provide a form of entertainment and ensures that we remain ‘plugged in’ to our devices as we scour through them for constant updates from friends and family.
Failing that, there’s also the plethora of work emails that stream in. Some of us can’t help but keep an eye on those too in the event that there’s an important last-minute task from the boss or a request from a client.
However, the problem is that when it comes to festive period, they may detract us from what’s really important – spending time with friends and family. Sources vary on the amount of time we use our phones but apparently, we can pick up our phones as much as 50 times a day!
Devices are not just a distraction – they can be all consuming. The good news is that you can put them down during this festive period so that you can focus one what’s important – friends and family. You know, the ones that are present in your life right now – not just in the digital sense. Here are three ways to make sure you stay connected to the real people in your life and not the ones connected to your device:
- Switch off your work emails
This may be difficult to do but if you want to be present with your family, you’ll have to switch off from your work emails. We don’t, of course, advise doing so if you’re on call. But if you’re not meant to be at your boss’ call then you really don’t need to be connected to your work. Don’t worry about being disturbed by your boss. Chances are he or she is already distracted by spending time with their own friends and family.
- Switch off your phones, tablets and laptops
Turn off all your devices! Yes! We’re serious about this! Unless you’re keeping your phone on in case your friends call to ask for directions, which in the age of Google maps is highly unlikely, there’s no reason to have your phone on this Christmas Day. If you haven’t done so already, make your wishes on social media early in the morning and then switch off the devices. There’s nothing really important enough to keep you scrolling through, especially when you sit down to have your Christmas meal with the family.
If going cold turkey for an entire day is too much for you, rather check your phone at certain allocated times. Turn off any notifications so that you’re not enticed to delve in to see what people are up to. If you’re still struggling, why not leave your phone in a different part of the house. If it’s out of sight, it may remain out of your mind.
However, if you’re serious about going on a digital detox the best way to make sure you don’t give into temptation is to delete your social media apps entirely.
- Get out the board games
While your phone has lots of games to keep kids entertained it’s probably best to get out the traditional board games if you want to connect with family this Christmas. The best board games, according to some reports include: Bank Attack, Pictionary, Just One, MegaCity: Oceania, and Dice Hospital to name but a few.
These days experts are not just encouraging us to do a digital detox to reconnect with family but they’re also advising us to do so for our mental health. According to a report in the Independent, using social media platforms too frequently can leave you feeling increasingly unhappy and isolated in the long term.
Besides affecting our connectiveness with others, being constantly connected can have a negative impact on our self-esteem, memory and sleep. So, do yourself your friends and family a favour this Christmas. Put the device down and have a meaningful conversation. Delve into the experiences around you and appreciate what you have this Christmas.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
From the SchemeServe team.