I recently attended a holiday party and was surprised at how many attendees were constantly checking or using their cell phones. Sure there was a room full of bodies, but many of them were mentally absent and disengaged. I thought this was disheartened considering the holidays are supposed to be a time to connect with others, share and create memories, and enjoy an atmosphere of peace and joy. Maybe people were doing that via Facebook or Twitter, but an “LOL” on status update is just not the same as a genuine laugh around the dinner table. So the next party you go to, I challenge you to curb your technological urges and make healthy connections and real conversation with the people right next to you.
Below are some tips for regulating your technology usage during the holidays.
- Set some rules. Discuss concerns about excessive technology use with family and friends and make a few rules everyone can agree to follow. For example, you can only use your phone to take pictures while at parties and sharing these moments will have to wait until the end of the night.
- Establish some consequences. Discuss what will happen if someone breaks a rule and agree upon a punishment. For example, if someone is caught texting during dinner, that person has to do all the dishes, and hold them to it.
- Include everyone. If you want to play a video game, create a tournament so everyone can have a chance to play and feel involved. Or, you can create a playlist of everyone’s favorite holiday YouTube video and share it—just remember not to get side tracked and sucked into the YouTube wormhole.
- Realize there is a time and place for tech. You will get tired of family and friends, and allow for time that technology is accessible. For example, after the holiday chores are complete or right before bed time.
The holidays are a time to appreciate all the people, places, and things closest to you. Don’t let technology distract you from the holiday fun and excitement that’s happening around you right now!