Family / Parenting

Disconnecting to Connect: Balancing Technology and Family

phoneIt is odd to be sitting here, working on my laptop, sitting next to my phone, and watching a show as I get ready to write about disconnecting from technology.

Most days, I have my cell phone in my hand or in my pocket. We bought a house in January and, during the two months of renovations, my phone was never out of reach. It would ring at least once an hour with a phone call, text or email from the plumber, contractor, or electrician. I had to answer or the project would come to a stop.

I found myself sitting next to my babies while trolling Pinterest for front yard landscaping or DIY fencing. I turned on a show for my four year old while the babies slept so I could shop for throw pillows or peruse paint colors.

I got annoyed if the babies woke up before I had narrowed the shades of blue. I was so wrapped up in this new house–the stress and the excitement–that my energy was focused on all the possibilities found online.

After a while, I realized that all of this attention to electronics was making me miss my children! So, I started putting my phone down. In fact, I put it away in a cabinet. Sometimes, I even turned the ringer off! And you know what? The stress I was feeling about the renovations and the move faded. It was replaced with giggles and walks in the sunshine void of distractions.

Instead of taking pictures of the babies playing with their big brother or taking videos of them eating new foods, I play with all three kids and lay with them in the grass. My stress level is lower. I am happier. I am more present in my life.  So much so that I just Googled “flip-phone” thinking about taking a step back. (Yes, I see the irony in that act.)

Technology is helpful, but I also think it can make us a stranger to our own lives. My goal is to text less, surf less, Facebook less in order to be more. Who’s with me?

FEATURE PHOTO CREDIT: APPLE.COM

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