Has your family heard what a digital detox is all about and sadly, why you may want to consider doing this A.S.A.P!!!!
How often do you go to restaurants and observe entire families sitting around a table, staring at their mobile devices? All the time, right?
I’m honestly not passing judgment. We are ALL guilty of this at some point or another.
According to comScore’s 2017 Cross Platform Future in Focus report, the average American spends 2 hours and 51 minutes on their phone per day. Another study, conducted by Flurry, shows U.S. consumers actually spend about 4 hours, 15 minutes on our mobile phones every day.
Let’s face it, most of that time is probably at night, which means parents are constantly distracted by their phones rather than giving their kids their full attention.
And kids are noticing.
AVG Technologies surveyed more than 6,000 kids, ages 8 to 13, and discovered that 32 percent of kids felt unimportant when their parents were distracted by their phones and that they felt they had to compete with technology for their parents’ attention. 54 percent of the kids said that their parents spent too much time on their phones… and perhaps surprisingly, 52 percent of the parents AGREED and worried about setting a bad example.
The Struggle is Real
Huffington Post blogger Jamie Johnson says, “I literally couldn’t go 30 minutes to an hour without looking at something on my phone. Finally, I went on maternity leave and I realized that I was still super plugged in. Here I had this brand-new baby and eight weeks off work and I was still working… And I said, ‘This has got to stop.’
Three of four weeks later we were on the way to Hilton Head on vacation and I told my husband I was going to unplug while we were there… We got there and I put my phone upstairs on the bedside table. I would check my email at night and that was it. It was awesome. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Jamie’s story isn’t unique. It’s something that most adults (and kids) struggle with.
Restaurants are Fighting Back
Restaurant owners are so fed up with patrons being glued to their devices that many have decided to take action. A number of restaurants across the country are now offering discounts to people who surrender their phones at the door.
Some are even turning phone-free dinners into a game. At the start of every dinner, everyone places their phone face down on the table and the first person to absently reach for it loses (and has to pay for dinner). You can even use the Downside app to play.
Make Your Time Count
It can be hard to unplug from your devices, but when you commit to spending that time in other ways, the effort is more than worth it! Check out our 5 tips for undergoing your own digital detox.
Undergoing a Digital Detox
Have a Plan
Choose a day and length of time that’s realistic for you, and think about how you want to spend that time. This is a great opportunity to plan a fun outing with your family when there will be no distractions. Or even just a family movie day in! Regardless of what you choose, have a game plan in place so you won’t be tempted to grab your phone to look for ideas.
Expect Some Anxiety
Remember, you are likely checking your phone an average of 35-50 times per day, so you’re going to have some phantom pains when you don’t have it with you. Expect to experience at least some separation anxiety, at least the first few hours.
Alert Your Inner Circle
15 years ago, people didn’t have the expectation of getting ahold of you at all times. If you were out of the house, you were unreachable. That’s just the way it was. Those days are long gone, though, so make sure to alert friends and family if you’re going to be offline for a few hours or even a day.
Don’t Go Cold Turkey
Don’t feel like you have to cut technology out for an entire weekend in the beginning. Instead, let yourself ease into unplugging. Start with a one or two hour digital detox in the evenings while you focus on family and work up to an entire day on the weekends. If you’re unplugging while on vacation, give yourself permission to check messages once or twice a day. Your extended family will appreciate that you’re still somewhat reachable and periodic check-ins will cut back on any anxiety you’re feeling.
Ease Back in Slowly
If you’re taking an entire day (or longer) off technology, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by just the THOUGHT of emails that are accumulating in your absence.
However, remind yourself that messages don’t have to be answered right away. Prioritize what’s important and get to the rest as you can.
The average person now spends about five hours a day on their phone. Not only is this bad for your posture, but having your phone next to you is taking attention away from your family – whether you’re looking at it or not. Even just a short tech timeout for an hour or two every night can help you to give your family your full attention. And who knows, after a few days you may start to enjoy the break!