The internet, social media, and smartphones...all great technological advances we have experienced over the past few decades, however they have created the ultimate distraction: the inability to disconnect. Jobs used to have boundaries. Work was an eight hour day rather than a limitless string of after hours phone calls, emails, and texts. Reading books offered us the ability to escape in a good story or learn about topics we were curious about instead of online searches and blogs. Phone calls or meeting with friends were our way of catching up instead of social media updates, tweets, texts, and emails. All of these cause distractions in our families and ultimately suck up so much of our time.
On some level, we've lost the personal connection. While we're able to connect, or reconnect, with many more people, do we develop our relationships past the surface level? We're all so "busy" that it's difficult to find time to meet up with friends, have dinner with our spouse, or simply sit down and play with our kids without interruption. I am as guilty as the next on all counts and am going to set some personal boundaries for "unplugging."
Here are a few simple rules I intend to follow:
-Phones and the computer may not be on the table during meals.
-I will check social media twice daily: a time in the morning and at night.
-While I love, love all of these uplifting, faith-filled blogs I have come across in the past few months, I will shift focus a bit and read their books instead.
-We will go out on a date once a month alone and gather with friends for a night out at least once a month as well.
-I will play with my children each day and give them my undivided attention: no phone, no computer, no tv.
Whew, that seems like a hefty task at this point. Breaking the cycle may be a challenge, but the fact that these are just not "givens" is a bit sad, too. I'm going to do my best to enjoy the quiet in a noisy, distracting world.