Arguably, connectivity should be included on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs along with the basics for life (or at least one would think so considering our so-called need to be constantly ‘in touch’ with the world around us). Because let’s face it, we’re addicted to our devices. For some of us, the very thought of leaving that beloved device behind causes us to break into a cold sweat.
Yes, of course you carry your iPhone with you everywhere you go in case the school needs to reach you for a child-related emergency. And of course, it allows you to work from anywhere, giving you the freedom to enjoy life outside the office. And absolutely it’s nice to share that spontaneous funny thought with your BFF (and everyone else on your Facebook feed).
But isn’t it nice to just disconnect for a while and just be? Not just being in an Instagram way either where you photograph the serene moment and write about how you are enjoying your peaceful commune with nature. Like just be there with no way of sharing it, recording it or otherwise interrupting it with electronic communications of any sort.
How to Combat the Need for Constant Connectivity
Create Connectivity-Free Zones — Establish rules for when and where devices are allowed to go (NO EXCEPTIONS FOR ANYONE IN THE FAMILY). For example, no devices at dinnertime or during family movie night. Challenge yourself to continually extend the connectivity-free zones to give yourself a good block of private, tech-free downtime.
Turn On the Do Not Disturb Feature — Use the built-in Do Not Disturb feature on your devices (and switch off all the unnecessary push notifications from apps that constantly bombard you with updates and newsflashes). This way the little ping you get when a new communication arrives won’t tempt you to check your device.
Take Tech Blackout Vacations — Plan at least one technology-free holiday. Don’t think you have it in you to stick to your no-tech rule? Leave your device behind or plan a trip to a remote location where cell coverage is practically nonexistent. Knowing you have this tech blackout coming changes the way you prepare for your holiday because there’s no way to cheat and login quickly.
Ask Your Family and Friends for Help — Enlist your family and friends in your connectivity challenge. Kids are great at reminding you to stick to the rules, especially if there’s a reward for them for catching you iPhone-handed! Explain to them why you are doing it and help them understand that things like technology need to have limits placed on their use.
Start Enjoying Tech-Free Living — Go out there and enjoy life — get wet (without worrying that your protective iPhone case is leaking), have fun (without the need to record and share it) and create special moments (that you only plan on sharing with the people who were there experiencing it with you).