We are “connected” to more people than ever but are we better off in our relationships? Are we controlling our media devices or are they controlling us? In light of the growing evidence to the latter, perhaps it is time we need to take a deeper look at the full impact of our always-connected state.
How can we stay relationally connected in our hyper-connected, digitally-distracted age? Here are 5 practical ways we can do this.
- Do An Eye Contact Check: The next time you are talking with your friend, spouse or co- worker, be self-aware enough to determine if you are looking directly into their eyes, or looking down at your smart phone while quasi-listening? Maintain eye contact and watch your conversations improve.
- Set It Down, Walk Away: Physically set your smart phone, computer, iPad or other said digital device down, put it away, and literally walk away from it at least 3 times a day.
- Choose A Time To Unplug: Set an alarm at a pre-determined time every day that signals an exact time when you unplug and detach from the digital world, meaning you are no longer available through your digital devices for the rest of that day or night.
- Ask For Accountability: Invite your spouse, friend or roommate to keep you accountable in setting a pre-determined time to unplug and detach from your digital world.
- Start With Facebook: Facebook has over 800 million active users, which means one in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook. Facebook users spend on average 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on the site.1 If you reduce your time on Facebook by 10% this month, you just created 1.5 more hours to invest into your face-to-face friendships.
Instead of allowing your digital world to control you, take control of your relationships by fully engaging yourself in undistracted, non-digital connecting time with your family and friends.