Taking a Tech Break

Last weekend, my family and I headed a couple hours north to visit my parents. This was my first real trip with my new iPhone. I’ve been trying to get used to carrying it around with me, since it is the replacement for my home phone.

However, I’ve found that a smart phone is so much more than just a phone. I can run a quick check of my email on it, and I can even update my Facebook status. While the Facebook status updates aren’t something I actually do from my phone, I do check my email.

At one point, though, I realized that my mom was looking at me while I checked the phone.

“Um, I get nervous if I haven’t checked my email for a little while,” I explained, somewhat lamely. “What if there’s an emergency?”

Yeah. Because at this point a client is going to have an emergency on a Saturday evening. Not likely.

This experience forced me to take a step back. Is this smart phone starting to take over my life? Do I need a tech break?

Creating Tech-Free Zones

One of the items that came to my attention recently was the idea of creating a tech-free zone in your home. This is, apparently, something that is starting to become a Big Deal. At certain places and times in your home, you gather up all the gadgets and put them away for a little “real” interaction with your loved ones.

While this is not something that we have in our home, I do recognize the need to stop spending so much time on the computer or on the phone. There are times when I look up in the evening, and realize that my husband and I are both on our laptops — and we haven’t spoken to each other for more than two hours.

In order to connect on a personal level, we put all the distractions away when we realize that they are creeping up on us. Look at your own life. Are you becoming consumed by gadgets? Taking some time away from the constant demands of technology, whether it’s checking Twitter or answering an email you just received, can help you relax and spend quality time with the people who are most important to you.

One of the things I love about the summer is that I go camping two or three times. Usually, for at least one of the trips, we are in such a remote area that it is impossible to use the cell phone — much less check email. This is a nice break for me because the situation requires that I have no tech available to me. I relax much more, and I don’t worry about emailed emergencies or the latest meltdown on social media. Since I can’t do anything about it, I truly have a break.

Finding ways to take a tech break can be a real help in your life. Take a deep breath, and realize that the email can probably wait a few hours (or even for a day or two). And Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest aren’t going anywhere.

Image: from_ko via Flickr

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.