We are a nation of technology addicts. The ability to connect with anyone at anytime and anywhere has made us chained to our devices at all hours of the day and night. While I believe that this ability to connect with others at any time is a blessing of modern technology, it can also be a drain on our lives and on the lives of our children. Is your family experiencing technology overload?
This post may contain affiliate links.
The constant checking of our phones, tablets, or computers for new emails, text messages, or social media updates can cause harm to both our physical and mental well-being.
For our children, hours spent in front of a screen playing games, apps, or watching movies takes precious time away from physical activity or in-person connections with friends or family.
Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE technology. I mean, let’s be real here, I’m a blogger so that means by default I have to spend a great deal of time in front of a screen.
And I love being online, connecting with people through social media, and researching issues so I can provide you all with great and useful content.
Plus, I think technology opens up the world to our children. My children have learned so much from educational apps and educational television shows. And I think that is fantastic.
What I’m advocating for here is a healthy balance of technology in our lives. If we don’t have a healthy balance and pick up a device willy-nilly, then our physical and mental health can be diminished.
Research has shown that our addiction to technology can cause short-attention spans, sleep deprivation, less physical activity, and less in-person connections.
Are you having problems with any of those things? If so, putting in place some of the suggestions below may be in order.
10 Ways to Limit Technology in Your Home
Have a no technology policy at mealtime (and this includes answering your phone or sending a quick text message) – spend time connecting with your loved ones instead
Don’t keep your phone or tablet near your bed – research has shown that spending time in front of a screen right before bed can cause sleep problems
Limit how many times you check email – try checking and responding to email only 3 times a day
Consider removing email from your phone – I’ve found that email on my phone is a real waste of time and energy and I usually can’t properly respond to an email on my phone anyway
Turn off notifications on your phone – the constant pinging every time there’s a new email, text message, app update, etc. is an unhealthy trigger that just perpetuates this cycle of technology addiction
Have a technology storage (and charging) station – it’s important for all of your devices to have a home when they are not in use to reduce the impulse of turning it on or checking it when it’s right in front of you. I love this charging station:
Set boundaries/expectations at home AND work – consider changing your voicemail at work to say that you return phone calls in the morning between 9-10 and in the afternoon between 3-4
Have scheduled screen times – this has done wonders for setting expectations with my kids in my home. My children know exactly when they can have iPad or movie time and when it’s time to return their devices back to mom
Implement a Screen-Free Day – consider having one day where there is no or very limited screen time
Have a family movie night – spend time once a week with your children watching a movie rather than each of you plugged into your individual devices and then talk about the movie!
I challenge you for one day to monitor your technology behavior. Keep a sheet of paper with you and jot down how much time you spend surfing the web, checking Facebook, reading or responding to text messages, checking your email or anything else.
If your results indicate an addiction to technology, try implementing some of the strategies above to create new healthy technology habits in your life and the lives of your kids.
You can also download my Free Habit Tracking Chart for a visual to help you create new healthy habits.
What are some of the ways you limit technology at home? I’d love to hear your strategies in the comments section below.
With Love and Joy,