Off the Grid Tuesday: Limiting “Connected” Time

Today we are more connected to technology than ever. Which has led to us becoming less connected to each other.

I’ve seen people texting while eating dinner at a restaurant. I’ve seen parents texting while on an outing with their child. I’ve seen people talking on their cell phones while out with friends. I’ve caught myself typing away on the laptop while watching the Bean play.

We all know that these real-life connections are what’s important. That seeing our child grow up, interacting with them, and enjoying the company of the friends in front of us is the way we should connect.

However, technology can play an important role. I’ve found support from the ladies at Michigan Natural Parenting, and I’ve gone on to become real-life friends with many of them. I rely on the Internet as a source of information on nearly everything. Both Facebook and my cell phone allowed us to check in with friends and family during our sailing trip. I enjoy writing this blog and sharing my adventures and learnings with others.

We choose not to have a television. Yet we keep our Internet access and cell phone because they do more than provide passive entertainment. Still, if you are not disciplined in the use of this technology, it can become as harmful as television.

Here are some of the ways that we handle it:

1. We use our cell phone like a land line. It gets velcroed to the wall. We take it with us in the car, but we turn it off during outings, dinner, concerts, etc.

2. We limit our Internet time. During the week, I go online for 15 minutes in the morning, than 30 minutes (for blogging) in the evening.

3. The person in front of us always gets the attention (rather than the technology).

This is what we are doing so far. What are some ways you limit your use of technology?

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