“Create personal boundaries for your device use. Decide when, where, and how you’ll use your phone. How can you use it as a tool and not as a trap? How can you model healthy boundaries for those in your sphere of influence? When you decide on your non-negotiables ahead of time, you can let go of guilt and also be present when your presence matters.”
“Create Screen-Free Sanctuaries for You and Your Littles
As a parent, so much is pulling on us all day long–there are so many demands to fulfill and decisions to be made that it can just be overwhelming! Screen time can help with these demands and decisions as we Google search our questions and Amazon our needs. Screen time can also give us that much-needed downtime we crave. But it’s also important to create buffers around our screen use–or else it will become that extra thing that pulls on us, demanding its own attention!
That’s why it’s important to create screen-free sanctuaries in our days: tiny places where we unplug, pause, and connect with ourselves and each other. Here are 3 of our favorite places to do that, and we call them the 3 B’s.
- Bedrooms. Bedrooms are for sleep, both for us and our littles. The easiest way to get better sleep is to keep screens out of all bedrooms in the house. Instead, get an alarm clock, and plug your phone into a central charging station elsewhere in the house. This one move will keep you from checking work emails and mindlessly scrolling late at night or first thing in the morning. This will prevent screens from bookending your day, which will help you wind down into the evening and wake up slowly, rather than being bombarded by news before your feet hit the floor. It will change your life, we promise.
- Bathrooms. Bathrooms are places to listen to our bodies, not distract ourselves and scroll. Swap out tech for a book here if you need to, but do your best to keep tech out of the bathroom.
- Breakfast tables (or any table). Let meals be a point of connection for the family. Studies show that just the presence of a phone on a table, even if no one is looking at it, creates less conversation and less connection with others. So make mealtime about meals–about the joy of food and the others present there. There will be plenty of time to catch up on the internet’s latest…later!
By keeping these places screen-free for ourselves, we model good boundaries to our kids as well. They learn they don’t need to watch a show to eat dinner, play a video game to use the bathroom, or scroll before bedtime. So make these 3 simple swaps today for better screen hygiene in your, and your family’s life.”
Nir Eyal, author of Indistractable
“Becoming Indistractable is the skill of the century. There are four steps:
First, master the internal triggers, the negative feelings that drive you to seek distraction like boredom, loneliness, and uncertainty, and have a practice in place to deal with them.
Second, make time for traction in your day by planning your time ahead of time.
Third, hack back the external triggers by eliminating the pings, dings, and rings, that can pull you toward distraction.
Lastly, prevent distractions with pre-commitments that act as a firewall.
See more in my book, Indistractable.”
Emily Cherkin, The Screen Time Consultant
“When you want to find a way to better manage your media use, my favorite tip is to “Live your life out loud.” This means when it comes to how we use screens, we narrate what we do as we do it! It can be as simple as, “I’m reaching for my phone to check the weather” or “I’m bored so I’m scrolling through social media.” When we speak out loud about what we’re doing, we’re more likely to be accountable to ourselves, we’re modeling how we use screens (for those children who may be watching), and we are showing how screens are more than just a single-use item– they are tools as well as toys!”
Emily Jones, founder of Family Tech University
“We often speak as if we (and our children) are the victims of an avalanche of negative technology influence… as if we are sitting ducks, helpless in the face of it all. I would submit that we are living, breathing agents of choice with a tremendous amount of power to control the technology narrative in our lives! As we speak of digital filters and controls, let us not forget that the ultimate filtering comes down to the individual. We must nurture within ourselves (and those we love) the all-powerful internal filter… or the capacity to choose the good and enlightened parts of technology, while forcefully rejecting the bad.
Are there social media accounts that make you feel rotten? Unfollow them.
Phone alerts that commandeer your attention? Disable them.
Media that is degrading or harmful to your soul? Reject it, run from it, block it.
This capacity to harness technology for good is, perhaps, the most critical skill of the modern age.”
Missy Allred, life coach for women and girls
“There are 2 things that have helped me manage my social media use and although I’m still working on it these have helped immensely!
- You have more control than you think!! You can choose not to be sucked in, you can choose to not let other peoples highlight reel be what you compare your worst moments to. Decide that is true and that YOU are in charge, not social media.
- The first is easier said than done so use social media itself as well as electronics to help you be successful! This might look like:
- Unfollowing or muting people, you don’t actually have to follow them! Sometimes I have done this just for a rough season when I’m comparing myself heavily. Other times I just need to step away from that person and I usually don’t miss it at all.
- Following those who lift you up
- Setting time limits/checking my screen time, that’s usually a reality check 😅
- Setting up scroll times for the day and then setting a timer for that. You will get so much more out of social media when it’s intentional and not just mindlessly scrolling.”
How to be in control of your phone use?
If you want to use your phone as a tool to help you thrive, these 6 experts recommend being intentional and making decisions beforehand (rather than letting your phone control you).
If you want a simple guide to help you do this, sign up below to create a free personal media plan!