Most of us tell ourselves and others that our family is our #1 priority. I think we want to believe this, but our actions really tell the truth. Priorities are obvious by how much time, energy, money, and attention we give to something or someone. Think about when you rise in the morning, where do your first thoughts go to or what is the first thing you feel compelled to do.
I recently was convicted thinking about the first thing I would go to was my phone to check the notifications and messages that I missed in the night. I realized that messages and social media has moved to the top of my priority list and it happened gradually and so subtle. I care too much about the activity that is happening on-line than I do in real time and real life. Sadly, this is an epidemic for a lot of us.
We have to take control of this habit, which is controlling us. We have created an appetite that needs constant feeding that never satisfies. It is costing us our marriages, families, self-worth, mental health, spiritual growth and more. We need boundaries in this area. We need to freedom from this addiction; to find rest from the constant stimulation.
Establish a boundary for your time.
No one should be accessible 24-7-365 days. You have a choice and don’t let other’s expectations (whether perceived or real) control you. I recommend when your intention and status is off-line, you put your phone somewhere away from you. Flee from the temptation to be pulled in. It’s important that you choose not to engage on-line certain times of the day, so apply time blocks on your calendar to do this.
Hide apps and notifications.
It helps to take apps off the home page of your phone. We can’t help ourselves when we see that number highlighted that shows how many notifications we have, so eliminate the temptation all together. You can reward yourself after responsibilities are handled and the time allows you to look for them.
Sometimes you just need a break.
Maybe you have a lot going on in your life and you need to refocus your resources away from media. If you have a planned vacation from your work and responsibilities, include unplugging all together. It recharges you and you do not want to deny yourself a true vacation.
Choose positivity on your news feed and guard your emotions from the negativity.
Block or hide posts and people that do not inspire and edify. Invite and engage the friends on your news feed that you would invite to your home to spend time with. The truth is you do not have to always be set to On-line. You will feel more free yourself and have more capacity to connect with your family and friends in real time.