Here’s the disturbing truth about our technology-fueled life: our devices, social media sites, and games are literally engineered to be addicting. Facebook, CNN, and Pinterest all get more money the more time we spend on their sites (via ad revenue and sponsorships).

It takes serious effort to pull yourself away from the screen and disconnect, but we’re reminded over and over again that it’s sooo worth it. After all, how many of your favorite moments from the past year were spent staring at a screen?

March 3-4 is National Day of Unplugging (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday). We will be participating and are seriously looking forward to the clean break from tech.

There are lots of ways to keep technology at bay without unplugging cold turkey, too. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Turn off phone notifications of all apps. Without having your phone buzzing all day, you will be less inclined to look at it.

  • Take a close look at the folks you follow on social media. Ask yourself, “Are they adding value to my day-to-day? Would I even notice if they stopped posting?” Unfollow often and don’t forget-- we often compare our behind the scenes to everybody’s highlight reel.

  • Sign out of social media apps and sites when you’re done checking them. Adding that little bit of effort every time you visit a website will help you pause and think, “Is this what I really want to be doing?”

  • Delete apps from your phone. Check the ones you use often on your laptop only.

  • Keep your phone in a different room. If you’re reading in your living room, keep your phone in your bedroom so you’re not tempted to pick it up.

  • Block distracting websites on your web browser. There is no shame in that, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

  • Turn your computer and phone off when you’re not using them.

  • Keep your phone on airplane mode (Fun Fact: Putting your phone in airplane mode helps conserve battery and makes it charge faster when it’s plugged in).

  • Make a list of what you’d rather be doing instead. Being excited about going for a hike and spending quality times with you friends will make you less vulnerable to spiraling into a social media black hole.

  • Use your Habit Calendar to track your technology use-- try creating a habit like “Check Facebook only 1 time/day”

Happy unplugging!

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