5 Tips for Healthier Relationships with Technology
Here at Nature Unplugged we’re all about promoting healthy relationships with technology and nature. The focus of this blog is to share a few of our favorite tips, tools, and takeaways to help you do just that. These are practical and actionable things you can apply right away. Check our our recent podcast on this subject if you’d rather listen than read.
Tip #1: Create intentional boundaries with your tech use
Being intentional with technology use is key to having a healthy relationship with it. Similar to creating routine/guidelines around things like eating, sleeping, working, waking - we recommend doing the same thing with technology.
One simple way to create boundaries with your tech use is by bookending your day with tech free time. This could be one hour of tech free time in the morning and one hour in the evening before bed. The specifics of when how and when you create your boundaries is up to you. It doesn’t matter much what the actual timing is, the important thing is that it works for you and that it’s an intentional decision.
Tip #2: Create a tech free zone in your house
Creating an intentional space in your house that is tech free is a wonderful practice. This can be a tech free room or part of a room (if you’re in a studio or smaller space). We personally recommend getting all tech/smart devices out of the bedroom. But, how will I wake up? You might ask. Buy an alarm clock. For more on this check out our blog on the subject.
Tip #3: Tech free meals
Eat at least 1 meal per day with no technology. This one is simple and can be very powerful. Eating without technology gives us an opportunity to really be with our food and with other people (if you’re eating with company).
Tip #4: Turn off notifications on your phone
Have you ever received a notification for an email or social media message and then after checking it found yourself on your phone for another 10 minutes? Turning off notifications is a great way to limit distraction and unintentional phone use. Go to your phone settings and turn off all notifications that you possibly can. The only time my phone notifies me (makes any sort of noise or buzz) is for calls and text messages. I’ve turned off notifications for email and all other apps. Experiment with this and find what works for you.
Tip #5: We’re all going to die (Someday)
This isn’t so much of a tip but a reminder. You, me, and everyone we know have a finite time to live. While we all know we’re going to die someday, it can be easy to forget this simple and powerful fact.
The purpose of reminding ourselves of this isn’t to become depressed/hopeless but rather to realize that we have limited time in this life. I’ve found this to be a very important and effective exercise that helps put things into perspective, especially when it comes to unproductive and unintentional tech use. Knowing that my time is limited I can ask myself, how do I want to use the precious time that I have here? Do I want to scroll through social media, watch hours of Netflix, or, do something different?
Our life is short and reminding ourselves of our own mortality is helpful in terms of framing our tech use.