• Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

4 Easy Ways to Help You and Your Family Unplug From Technology



I know if you're reading this you can relate when I say our entire lives (and livelihoods) are more and more online. It's great to have constant access via the Internet to everything we want, we all need to take a break and spend less time with our technology. To help encourage people to limit their technology usage, 'National Day of Unplugging' is March 7th - 7th this year. This day is designed to help you get in the habit of taking a 'digital detox' and make more of an effort to give your brain a break from technology and reconnect with family and friends. Are you and your family members always staring at screens? Here are some tips to help you disconnect.

Whenever I make posts about unplugging from technology, people laugh, but did you know that the average smartphone user checks their device 150 times a day. Checking in on friends’ frequent vacations, food pictures, and date nights create a constant state of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and anxiety. People obsessively refresh our social media feeds followers because they’re afraid to be "on the outside" of news, events, and social gatherings. But at the end of the day, browsing photos from other people’s fun times is not the same as attending those parties and picnics and actually hanging out with friends in the flesh. Studies show that we actually need weekends and nights off to disconnect and recuperate from the stresses of work. Like your muscles, the brain needs recovery time in order to develop and grow.

Want to learn how to take a digital detox, follow these steps:

1. Get Help with Disconnecting from Technology by downloading an programs and apps. If you find it hard to disconnect on your own there are several apps you can use to help you:

Flipd: This app works like your phone's lock screen with a timer that encourages you to stay unplugged from your phone for whatever period of time that you choose.

Do Not Disturb on iOS. The Do Not Disturb feature on iOS devices allow you to keep collecting all your alerts, but in a quiet manner. It’s ideal for when you’re in a meeting, on a romantic date, or just need to get a good night’s sleep without having to completely turn off your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

Priority Mode for Android Devices. The Priority Mode feature on Android devices silences your alerts based on settings you choose. It allows only the most important alerts or “Interruptions” to get your attention.

Apps to help your kids disconnect. Gaming systems like the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One all have apps that allow you to set limits for your child's playtime.

2. Carve out time during the week or on the weekends to disconnect from your devices. Sunday is the day that I unplug from technology and recharge for the week. Going to the gym, leave the phone at home or just stream music from your device. Stay off social media. Put the phone away if you are watching TV or movies with your significant other or kids. If you have to work at home at night, do it after connecting with your family or if you live alone, just relax and have some alone time. Make dinner time a 'no-tech' time and create 'no tech' zones in your home for yourself and your kids.

3. Turn off push notifications. Your technology alone isn't the main reason for you wanting to stay connected. A major problem is all of the push notifications that are always popping up, buzzing and demanding your attention. Apps for smartphones and tablets are designed to keep you connected and in some instances, people get addicted. Don't want to be lured in? Turn off the notifications.

4. Shut Down Your Technology At Bed Time. When you disconnect from technology before bedtime, you give your brain the opportunity to unwind, which leads to a more restful sleep cycle. Research published by the National Academy of Sciences found that technology usage before bed can disrupt your patterns of sleep. This is because the backlight from your devices decreases melatonin production. which affects sleep.

The key to reducing the amount of technology you use is to create sustainable habits that work with you and your family's lifestyle and sticking to them. It may seem hard to limit how much you use your technology at first, but the more you do it the more relaxed you will feel and they more you will connect with life Do you take a break from technology? How often do you unplug? Will you be joining The National Day of Unplugging on March 6th -7th? Drop me a line and let me know.

Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@callintegralnow.com If you prefer to connect with me on social media, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I want to make technology fun and exciting for you.

If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. My team of friendly tech experts are always standing by to answer your questions and help make your technology useful and fun. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829.

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