Saturday, April 12, 2014

Take Your Privacy Back

I was just reading an article in the Huff Post (shocker, eh?), detailing that 70% of parents struggle with being unable to keep off their phones at dinner.
For everyone's sanity, we have to address this issue of being constantly in contact.  And it starts with me...and you.
Excluding emergencies, phones should be off at dinner time. Remember when we used to NOT answer the phone because it was "dinner?" Or, you'd tell your friends, "don't call during dinner!" It was accepted that you could not be reached at dinner time or other times.  These days, we're much too available. 

"I texted you three times and left a voicemail, WHERE were you?" 
"Um, in the bathroom." 
People are annoyed if they can't get you right away. We need to change that, but we can only change that as we each make changes. 
First of all, calmly and firmly tell people, "I was unavailable." No excuses.  You are simply not able to be reached, end of discussion. 
Next, when you are crying inside to check your messages, give yourself a time. I'll check messages in 40 minutes. Space out the times you check to pull yourself back from the immediate contact. Make social media and messaging something you do in chunks, not throughout the day.

Put your phone in your purse or pocket (esp. whilst driving!), and don't be online or messaging all the time.  Go outside and enjoy the fresh air.  Talk to a human being face to face.  Pick up a book (readers are okay).  Pray or meditate.  Take up a hobby (but don't constantly post your achievements or step by step  accomplishments).  Learn something new.  Help a friend.  Help a stranger.

There is much more to you and your life than a little screen in your hands.  Make some real memories now with people around you.     

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