The thought of intentional living is one I strive for. I believe that at some point we all strive for it. The idea that we cherish the moments we are given is a lovely thought.
Spending the past decade raising children has taught me an important lesson. I want to experience my life fully. I want to take the moment I am given (rather than the ones I want) and I want to experience them and enjoy them.
I have come to an irritating conclusion over the past year that has changed the way I view my actions and my habits. Technology is less of a benefit and more of a distraction.
I have resolved to set aside my technology for periods of time so that I may more fully live with intention.
I have noticed that I had become glued to my phone. The kids want to go play at the park? I will check social media. Dinner taking too long to cook? I will text someone. Can’t sleep? Read a book on the Kindle. I would go through a mild state of panic if I forgot my phone or loose it.
While I do believe that technology is useful, and we probably can’t live without some form of it, I have also come to the realization that we don’t need to be glued to technology every second of every day.
How many cute moments have we missed of our children? How much patience have we lost sifting through comments and posts that have instantaneous results?
I have come up with some “rules” that I am beginning to follow while I find new found freedom stepping away from technology.
Disconnect from the digital world
I have gotten so used to being able to connect with people and find information at the click of a button that it was a foreign concept for me to step aside. I have stopped almost all notifications on my phone. I have a few people set as favorites in my contact list so that they can always reach me in case of emergency. Everything else can wait until I feel free to sit down and check messages.
Leave technology at home
When was the last time you left the house without any type of technology? I can’t remember the last time. While I might not follow this through 100%, I now do tend to stick my phone at the bottom of my purse and leave it there unless I absolutely need it. This way, I have my phone in case of emergency, but otherwise it’s out of sight.
No technology in the bedroom
Having the phones and TV in the bedroom is mighty distracting when you are getting ready for bed or want to spend quality time with your spouse. While we do use technology for alarm clocks, we leave them out of reach so that it’s not tempting to sit in bed checking social media before bed.
Try out other entertainment
Since we have begun limiting technology in the house, we have tried to find other ways to keep ourselves entertained. We are teaching the older children card games, which has been quite the hit. If I want to read, I will try to pick a physical book instead of a book off of the Kindle. I have begun writing in journals instead of typing and we have started choosing to go outside more to get some new scenery and fresh air.
These ideas aren’t much but they can seem drastic for those who live with technology 24/7. While we haven’t implemented every one of these ideas, we are beginning to live with the intention of enjoying life more without technology.
Moments pass us by so quickly, especially with children. It has been nice to be able to sit down and play with the children in the evening instead of sitting in front of the TV. We have had many new conversations that I don’t believe we would have had otherwise.
So, try it out! Turn off your phone for a few hours. Try to learn to live in the moment. Let me know what challenges you face with family life and technology in the comment section below!