Social Media Vacation Posted by: Dr. Matt

Is your connection to your phone causing disconnection with your partner?cake topper phones

First, let me be clear, I love my phone.  It’s filled with so much great information.

Almost daily I use the more-computer-than-phone in my pocket to check email, respond to students, text family, schedule clients, reorder my fantasy team, pay a bill, edit a picture (see tree pic on left), listen to a podcast, purchase new music, order pizza, get directions, read the news…..

2015-11-11 09.02.55I love smartphones.

But they also come with a dark side.

For as many “emergencies” as our phones help us escape (emergency = sitting for any one moment slightly bored, thus initiating the phone check), our phones create emergencies – namely disconnection from those with whom we’re physically present.

And much of this disconnection is precipitated by the overconsumption of social media.  That’s right, many of you, and many of my clients, over-consume social media outlets, fueling disconnection with their partners, spouses, and kids.

Maybe it’s time for you to take a break from social media, and reconnect with those near you…

Put it down.  Take a break.  Un-plug.  Be where you’re at.  Be with those you’re with.

6 Tips for your #SocialMediaVacationpee texting

  1. Online bedtime – set a time each evening to disconnect from your device(s).  Use a notification blocker to silence your phone.  Make it family-wide.  Choose a time at least 30min prior to bedtime.
  2. Eat without checking – enjoy your meals without looking at your devices.  Stick to the rule: “no phones on the table.”
  3. Read a book – not online, but a physical book.  Let your eyes embrace something other than a screen.  Turn pages again.  Read to learn.  Read for fun.  Read together.
  4. Evaluate your feed – there’s probably unnecessary crap on your social media feeds.  Delete said crap.  Streamline and pare-down your feed so that you’re receiving meaningful, UPLIFTING, connective information.  Unfortunately a lot of SM info is derogatory, inflammatory, and divisive.  Delete.
  5. Vacation from your Social Media app – maybe you can’t take a total break from SM, but you could remove that FB app from your phone for a week, or remove a bookmark from your homescreen or desktop.  Make checking SM a bit harder, thus avoiding the mindless checking default.  “Oh, I just closed this, now I’m looking at it again.”
  6. Write something – Take out a pen and paper and write something for 10min.  Draw.  Create somefamily eating social mediathing physical.  Fold paper.  Sketch.  Write a haiku or note to your grandmother.  Practice your signature.  Jot down your 5-year-plan, grocery list, favorite movies, or dream vacations.  Craft a love note and leave it on their car…

Remember our motto:

Put it down.  Take a break.  Un-plug.  Be where you’re at.  Be with those you’re with.

And you don’t have to share your experience.  We’ll be ok.

a few years ago, my family took a break from TV.  Here’s what we learned…