In Nir Ayal’s blog post, he reminds us to adopt the age-old wisdom...everything in moderation. I was happy to read how he carefully reviews some of the most concerning current studies available about our kids’ social media use.
I do shudder at the fact that kids the same age as my own sons and younger, walk around with pressure about letting a snapchat streak go, facing FOMO and being the target of cyberbullying.
When I get into a panicked state about what technology is doing to humans, I can reread what Nir Ayal writes, “...if we’re paralyzed by our fears and try to ban our kids from using their technology instead of helping them (and us) learn to use it responsibly, we may be doing more harm than good. Tech is powerful, and now is the time to teach kids to use that power rather than pretend we can keep them from it.”
I love the idea that any of us can teach not only our kids but ourselves to use the power of technology for good.
These are some of the tried and true methods I use to keep my relationship with my phone from going from one extreme to another.
- Take breaks. Find times throughout your day when you can focus on an activity that makes you forget about your phone.
- Don’t shame yourself or anyone else. We are lucky to be living in this day and age. Our mobile devices can keep us connected and entertained. Spend time on your phone thoughtfully.
- Be the change you want to see. Set a good example for the people around you. Especially those with the most pliable brains (under 25).
- Remember there’s a time and place. Certain locations and certain people have boundaries about phone use. Unless there’s a true emergency, follow the rules. It’s not going to kill you.
- Every day presents a new opportunity to keep it real. Capture precious moments with your phone camera and then put it away. If you’re someone who loves Instagram and FB, post with #latergram to share after the moment has passed. This way life won’t pass you by while you’re posing for a photo. Sometimes it is nice to look directly into someone’s eyes without staring into a selfie screen.
Many people have pointed out that it seems ironic to spread the message about taking tech breaks on social media. While the irony is real, we do feel compelled to post reminders about being mindful with our devices. We all can use reminders and don’t want to feel alone in making this change.
If we take a page out of Nir Ayal’s playbook or rather his blog post, we don’t have to beat ourselves up. We can practice being more present, with our phones or without them.
Thanks for reading :)
Kim (Founder of lilspace)