Be Present: Unplugging From Your Devices
We’re all guilty of being glued to our phones, tablets, or computer screens during some part of our day. Of course sometimes it’s necessary, during work hours, communicating with others, getting directions, etc. Even children come home from school and want nothing more than to sit in front of the television screen, and we know, they could do it for hours. Children see a phone and you immediately get asked the question, “Can I play a game on your phone?” Adults are just as guilty. It’s hard to go anywhere now without passing the majority of people staring down at some sort of screen.
Of course, electronics have so many amazing benefits (for crying out loud this is a blog post.. the irony), but there comes a time when we all need to unplug. Enjoy the present moment, take a break from the wifi, and give your scrolling thumbs a break.
Here are some seven occasions we advise not just turning your phone on silent, but turning it off!
Allow yourself time in the morning, before the chaos of your day, for some electronic-free time. Whether that entails sitting down for breakfast device-free or just giving yourself an hour before you start scrolling down the feed. You’ll have plenty of time during your day to be on your device. Devices can be more of a distraction than we generally think. IDC Research reports that nearly 80% of smartphone users are on their phone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning. Unplugging in the morning gives you more time to get ready for your day, reboot, enjoy that cup of coffee, and allows you to be present in the now.
The Dinner Table
Real life conversation happens at the dinner table. Even just thirty minutes a day of conversation at dinner, without the distraction of electronics, allows you and your family to unwind from the day and enjoy the present moment. Unplug and enjoy each others company.
Right Before Bed
Being on your electronics right before bedtime isn’t a good a idea for a number of reasons. For one, the stimulation of electronics makes its more difficult for your brain to rest when it is time to go to sleep. Being on your smartphone, tv, or tablet right before bed can lead to unwanted stress and brain stimulation, interfering with your good night sleep. Allow yourself an hour before going to bed electronic-free.
Out to Eat
Ever been out to eat at a restaurant, looked to the table next to you and seen a family all staring down at some sort of device? We have too. It happens more often than not. When you go out to eat, whether its with a friend, family, or for business, turn off your device.
It’s dangerous! Staring down at your device while walking can lead to unwanted interactions (running into other people, literally) or objects. We advise avoiding looking at your phone while walking anywhere from inside the grocery store to down the hallway at your office building. This could avoid unwanted injuries, such as running into walls.
When You’re Ordering
When you are ordering food or perhaps even just paying for groceries at the store, avoid being on your smartphone. Often times it’s distracting not only to you, but to the employees helping you out.
Texting while driving has become an epidemic. The National Safety Council has reported cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. (according to this article: https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html)
Looking down at your phone while driving could be compared to driving with a blindfold on. Your eyes are not on the road, and your attention is focused somewhere else. It’s dangerous and not worth the risk. Avoid using your smartphone while driving. If you need directions off your phone, plug them in before driving and use the verbal directions offered. If you have an iPhone, we suggest putting it on “Do Not Disturb” before you take off in your car, this will prevent you from being tempted to look down at those frequent buzzes. Don’t risk it, your smartphone will be there when you get out of the car.