This article was originally published on November 8, 2011. Click here for the original article.
In, “How Technology Can Affect Our Relationships: Part 1“, I shared that although technology is wonderful, it can also be a distraction from the important things in life. It can intrude upon face-to-face interactions, inhibit real-life relationships, and make life more complex than it needs to be. Below are a few things that have worked for me and I recommend that you try as well:
When I first got my BlackBerry, the beeping and buzzing for every little notification began to quickly drive me insane. Every little: tweet, comment, like, add as friend, tag, text, e-mail, missed call, and voice message were ridiculous. It would interrupt me during dinners, classes, driving, and meetings. It would even interrupt my sleep. I would check notifications the first thing in the morning, the last thing in the evening, and several times throughout the day. It would consume a lot of my time. I eventually thought,
“Do I really need to know and be notified at every little moment for every little thing?”
The answer was… No. So, I logged onto Facebook and manually turned off all the notifications that were sent to my phone. I also went through my phone settings to make sure that distracting alerts were turned off.
A fews days after doing so, I could already feel a difference and life began to be a lot calmer and clearer.
Sometimes we forget that our technological gadgets are just tools that are suppose to make doing tasks easier. Our tools should never be the foundation for or the focal point of community and authentic relationships. Our tools are ways to help and facilitate real relationships, but never intended to replace them.
Click on the info graphic to view it larger.
Most of our smart phones can do items 1 to 8, and even 9. The one thing that a smartphone can not do, is number 10…talking face-to-face. It is incredibly discouraging when a phone goes off when having a coffee or sharing a meal with a friend. It is especially rude when a friend is sharing something that is very personal and sensitive but interrupted by insignificant notifications.
I purposefully put my phone off or in silent when in the company of others. I’m not perfect and sometimes forget, but I really consciously try to honour quality time by being fully present in the moment. The phone will still be there on the way home.
In sum, technology is absolutely wonderful but can also be absolutely distracting from the important things in life. Let’s put technology in its place by setting clear and healthy boundaries on how we use the tools.
This week I encourage you to try and:
Finally, I would really love the opportunity to connect with you on a deeper level than just blog posts. If you send me your first name and e-mail below, then I’ll send you weekly letters that talk about work, life, and ministry. It is contains completely unique and exclusive content that you won’t be able to find here on this site.
Welps, that’s the end of my thoughts on CrackBerry’s and IPhones…
What do you think?
Do you have any recommedations for how to minimize cellphone distractions?
Have a great week.