Do you feel a compulsion to answer a text or return an e-mail as soon as it arrives? Do you take your phone into the bathroom and check out messages while you are relieving yourself? Do you have to check your phone at the movie theater even though you know how much it irritates the people around you? Do you place your phone on the table and read (and answer) messages during a meal out with friends or spouse? When walking in a quiet park do you feel you have to check your phone? How do you feel when you think about leaving your phone off for 5 hours? Do you feel required to answer immediately or someone will not like you? Do you feel required to look at that text that just arrived while you’re talking in person to someone else?
Is this a habit, conditioning, a compulsion or an addiction? Is it a false sense of connection? Does it relieve loneliness? Is there fear around being disconnected?
Allowing yourself to disconnect for even a few minutes allows you to be present with yourself and “now”. Staying continually e-connected and constantly engaged becomes an escape from the present moment and becomes a distraction for your experience of you, your mental state and your emotional state. Constant input and e-connection can create a frenzied state and anxiety. It can also create a habit of un-focusing and flitting from one thing to another.
Try talking to someone face to face instead of e-mailing or texting. Only send a message if it matters. Don’t make a habit of carrying on long e-conversations. Pick a phone call over an e-call. Create an e-free time zone; no devices used during meals, in the bathroom, during a date or sporting event. Recharge your pone in the off position at 8 pm and don’t turn it on until morning (after breakfast), allowing yourself time away. Never use your phone before going to bed or in bed. Set boundaries. Eliminate receiving the Facebook notices on your phone and RSS feeds. Limit the Apps. Most importantly, become aware of what power your phone has over you. Develop mindfulness of your ‘necessity’ to have that connection. Give yourself space from your e-connection to create you-connection.
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