Updated: Oct 12, 2020
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We as humans on the planet in 2020 have the beautiful benefit and incredible heaviness of social technology. From social media to news websites to the constant barrage of dings and pings and chimes, it is easy to find yourself in a situation where you are constantly engaged with your devices. Although being able to stay connected so easily has incredible benefits like staying in touch with family and friends, it can also bear a ton of weight on our shoulders and literally bring more stress and un-wellness into our lives. It's important that when we show up to our technology, we do so intentinoally.
As we are nearing the election and amongst such a heavy year of social unrest, strong and vocalized political opinions and the pandemic, I wanted to put out some resources to provide you a brain break if you're need one. If you've ever caught yourself in a mindless scroll binge, turning to social media when you don't need to, checking the news frequently during heavy times, feeling "less than" when on your feed, missing a real life moment because you're scrolling or posting, or shocked at your device usage report - I've been there too and I hope to offer up some simple ways to step back a bit.
IN A WORLD OF ALGORITHMS, HASHTAGS AND FOLLOWERS, KNOW THE TRUE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN CONNECTION.
- MAMA TRIBE MARKETPLACE
Science says that overload from time spent on our devices and in front of social media can contribute to high levels of anxiety, depression, FOMO, cyberbullying, self-absorption, addiction, isolation, feeling inadequate about your life, a variety of mental health problems, fatigue, lack of exercise, headaches...the list goes on and on.
It's important to at the very least incorporate some simple strategies to find balance with your social media and technology use, when you notice any of the above or your own unique side effects creeping in. Noticing your own habits and symptoms and taking steps to take a break from the noise can massively assist in swinging your time spent connecting virtually to be more positive.
Just a couple of notes :
New habits don't easily happen over-night. If you're setting some goals to step back from your devices a bit, set yourself up for success. Instead of going for a HUGE goal overnight, consider little broken down steps to get you where you want to be (ex if you are spending 6 hours a day, it might be too big of an adjustment to move to 30 min a day - consider taking a week to make note of how, when and where you spend your time and then try cutting it down in increments over a few weeks to eventually get to your end goal.
We are talking about an absolute addiction to our devices. Don't be hard on yourself if you notice habits that shock you or if you slip up, but do take note of what you see. Let any behavior that you don't love be your inspiration to change your habits! Also, don't be afraid to seek professional help to make adjustments - where the below are simple ideas to incorporate change, seeking help from a professional to curb your habits is available and so helpful.
20 WAYS TO A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP WITH TECHNOLOGY
1. GIVE YOURSELF AN AUDIT
If you notice yourself feeling mentally heavy or tired from your time online, try giving yourself an audit. Use a program to track your time online, or keep a notepad with you to track your time manually. Track when and where your are spending your time online. You could even go as far to jot down WHY you went onto the site or app in the first place, if you stayed the course or got distracted and how you felt during and after your experience. At the end of the week, sit down to get an understanding of where you spent your time. If you're surprised at your findings, use the data that you collected to set some new goals with your device time.
* You can also give your entire device an audit - take a look at the apps that you're allowing on your phone and delete the ones that you no longer use or that give you stress. Go minimal style with your technology!
2. CLEAN UP YOUR FEED
Take a moment to really think about what is in front of you and where you are spending your energy. Just like keeping your physical space and your community in alignment with the vibes you wish to surround yourself with, do the same with the technology that your eyes focus on. Delete apps and unfollow people and brands that are creating noise and stress for you. Purposely follow accounts that bring you joy or provide you personal development. It's YOUR feed and YOUR device - you are allowed to choose where your energy is spent.
3. DO A TECHNOLOGY DETOX
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you've gotten to the point where you're completely fed up with how certain apps or feeds are incorporated into your life or impacting you - it might be time to consider a day/week/month/year long detox. Yup, I'm talking cold turkey cutting it out of your life. Sometimes going the route of a more extreme approach works best. If this feels too drastic to you, then consider one or a combination of other methods first - but keep this in your back pocket. It might offer a ton of benefit to completely detox from all or elements of the apps causing you distress - and who knows, you might just end up loving it so much that you never look back!
4. SCHEDULE IT
Restricting the times that you allow yourself to check email/scroll through socials/look at the news can offer up huge benefits! Not only will spending designated times on your apps allow you to spend more time doing the other things that you love, but it will help you to spend more thoughtful time in your feeds when you do choose to be on them. Literally schedule in the time for yourself and set an alarm once you're through - and stick to it!
5. KEEP IT OUT OF THE BEDROOM
One simple rule that you can put into place to curb your time in front of technology is to make your bedroom a technology free zone. And don't let it stop there - create other zones in your home where you keep the devices out of (ex the dinner table!). Take back your peace by keeping distractions out.
6. TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS
Did you ever stop to notice exactly how many pings, dings and chimes you get in a day? In an hour? And actually NOTICE your reaction when certain sounds or notifications pop up? It can be pretty eye-opening. Be thoughtful about the notifications that you allow. Considering cutting down on some of the unnecessary ones and notice if it stops you from reaching for your device so often.
7. CONSIDER A POSITIVE NEWS SOURCE
Watching the news is a tricky one. If it's important to you to stay up to date on current events, you most likely have a favorite news source. Consider how diverse and non-partisan your source is to decide if it's the right one for you - maybe it's time to switch it up! If you do love to stay up to date on the news, consider adding in a POSITIVE news source as well. I love following The Happy News for the good stuff that you just don't see on the news.
8. GET OUTSIDE IN NATURE
If you're in the moment and notice yourself getting bogged down by your time on your devices, take a step outside or open up your windows. Make it an entire afternoon or just a quick breath of fresh air - whatever you have time for - and let it reset you. When you come back in, try to adjust where you're spending your energy.
9. USE 3RD PARTY APPS TO POST
Do you need to use social media for your business or job? That really feels like it changes everything and makes it so difficult to step back, I get it. I've gotten into the habit of using 3rd party apps to schedule my posts - not only does it allow me to step back from being constantly online, but it also helps me to stay way more organized, ahead of the game and organic with what I'm sharing online. My current favorites are :
I love to use LATER (click to get extra posts each month!) for managing my instagram posts.
I love to use TAILWIND (click to get a month free!) for managing my pinterest and instagram posts.
I currently use Facebook Creator Studio to manage my Facebook posts.
10. GET CREATIVE
If you're feeling sucked into your device, reset by doing something creative. Take out a project that you've been excited to get started on and shift your focus! It will be a great reminder of how fun it is to spend your time doing something creative for your soul.
11. BUST A MOVE
Sucked in? Dance it out. Step back from your device and throw on your favorite jam to dance to. Let your dance break be everything you need to shake it OFF and switch gears.
DISCONNECT TO CONNECT
12. CALL OR WRITE A FRIEND. LIKE PEN TO PAPER.
Consider getting into the rhythm of some old school ways to connect. Once a week or so, pick up your phone to have a fun conversation on the phone with a friend. You'll be surprised at how much deeper the connection is than the like button! Or dust off your stationary, bring back some pen pals and sit down to write a friend.
13. READ A BOOK
Getting sucked into your feed? Toss your phone to the side and pick up a book instead. Try to notice when you're spending mindless time online and shift it to gaining beneficial information instead. Try placing books around your space so that they are at your fingertips when you need to take a step back.
14. SET INTENTIONS WITH BLACK TOURMALINE
I LOVE using my crystals as visual reminders for my intentions. I look for crystals that have properties similar to what I'm looking to use them for and then choose a piece that I'm very drawn to. I set an intention with it under a new or full moon ritual, during yin yoga or meditation. Then I keep it around my space and bring it back into my practice whenever I can.
I personally use black tourmaline to remove and block any negativity and to detox anything. This is a piece that I use around my space regularly and do keep a piece at my desk. I constantly instruct my students and community to allow your crystals be visual reminders of your intentions - so if you set an intention with your black tourmaline to detox from negativity online, keep it next to the space where you spend most of your time online and then allow it to equally be an energetic and visual reminder of your intention. You can shop the MoonRise Boutique for Black Tourmaline!