oliday’s are a time to spend with your family, friends, and loved ones. Unfortunately, the time we ought to be spending with one another is often lost in our obsession with technology.
From the TV to smartphones, and every other connected device in our lives, we’ve become addicted to screens and they’re stealing many of the precious moments in life that we encounter.
Sometimes we need to know when to use the power button.
If you think back to a recent family gathering, you may recall most people staring at their smartphone rather than engaging with one another. More often than not, we seem to be missing out on the value of these moments that only occur a few times a year.
Of course our addiction to technology isn’t only a problem during the holidays, but more a lifestyle problem for our generation. The video below, called I Forgot My Phone, illustrates this perfectly.
We can all relate to most, if not all of those situations: the selfies, the googling, and the endless browsing. You know things are bad when we’re more obsessed with capturing the moment than with the actual moment itself.
It may sound harmless, but being so reliant on technology is doing damage that we don’t realize. Here’s a number of reasons about WHY we need to disconnect, especially during the holidays.
1. These moments are rare
The simple fact is, these moments are rare and if we are distracted by our technology, they’ll pass us by. Time is a limited resource and many of our fondest memories can be formed on these types of days. Instead of starting at your phone, be present and make the most of these opportunities.
2. Continue building your relationships
How often do you really get together with a lot of family? For most people, this may just happen a couple of times a year so take advantage of it. Actually get to know each other better. Instead of watching TV, actually talk to one another! Share stories and experiences, laugh and cry. This is your support system, and the closer you get, the better off you’ll be.
3. Remove the external distractions
One of the biggest phenomenons that have come with technology is this inherent fear of missing out or FOMO. We’re so worried about the news, other peoples lives, and not being in the loop that we forget to live our own lives. We need to focus on the present and remove all the distractions. Give your full attention to the day, not technology. Turn off your phone, internet, tv, and video games, and just enjoy the day.
4. Give your brain a break
The best part of this practice is that you give yourself a break from the constant barrage of information and stimulation that technology provides. The holidays give you the perfect excuse to do exactly this. Get away from all the stimulation and give yourself an opportunity to spend time with the most important people in your life.
ver this break my sister and brother-in-law have been visiting and it’s been a great time, mostly because we haven’t been centered around technology (as much – we still had to watch Arthur Christmas, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t).
We’ve made our annual gingerbread house, played a number of games (mostly Settler’s of Catan), and just relaxed outside, telling stories and enjoying the beautiful weather here in Texas. It’s been a great change of pace, especially for me, as I’m a repeat offender of being overly attached to technology.
The holidays are only holy if we make them so.Marianne Williamson
And this is the crux of the issue. It’s up to us to make the holidays memorable and important. A big part of that is unplugging from technology, which allows us to make these opportunities more meaningful and memorable.
As you’re waking up this Christmas morning, realize that it’s a choice that you can make. So silence your phone, disconnect the internet, turn off the TV, and just spend time together in a more simple manner. And if you’re reading this right now, try and make it the last thing you look at for the day
Play games, cook, share stories, decorate, open gifts, tell jokes, eat together, and enjoy one another’s company. Be present in this day and get the most out of it, because it’ll be gone tomorrow. And it’ll be the best holiday you’ll ever have.
P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Image via flickr