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Too Much of a Good Thing

Technology is an amazing thing. The technology that has arrived in our pockets and purses is an amazing thing. Thanks to our devices we can communicate with each other at any time, makes notes, check the weather, enter items in our calendars, track our steps, count our calories, you name it.

Before starting a digital detox it’s important that we recognize just how valuable technology is and learn to see it as such. We need it for many reasons and we should use it to our advantage. But because these devices are so helpful and convenient we’ve carried them into every moment of our lives until, instead of using them to our advantage, the devices are using us to their advantage. Just make a quick perusal of the ads in your Facebook or Instagram feed or at the beginning of a YouTube video and you’ll see what I mean.

But instead of going cold-turkey and giving up your device immediately I suggest you first reorient yourself towards the use of your device. Make a list of all the reasons you are grateful for your device. (Consider this section of your detox to be, not so much your divorce, but your marriage counseling stage.) Write down why and how your device is helpful to you. Then continue to focus on the positive by writing down a list of non-technological things that you are grateful for: family, friends, flowers, food, sunsets (as seen in person, not on your friends’ instagram stories)….just write down anything that you find meaningful in life.

And finally, jot down the ways in which you use your device to your disadvantage. What about that extra 15 minutes that I spend scrolling instagram before bed? (And keep in mind I will complain the next day that I went to bed too late.) What about the 10 minutes that you spent at the party posting photos of the party? You don’t even know about that meaningful conversation that you missed because, well, you missed it. What about the smile on your child’s face that you’re missing as you look at your phone? (You have that same lovely smile on your lock-screen but the one on the other side of your phone is smiling at you now, in the present moment.)

Yes, it’s true. Even though our devices help us get through every day they also creep into the sacred moments of our lives and disturb our focus, productivity, energy and relationships and that’s why a detox is always a good idea. To begin reorienting your relationship with technology print out the grateful graph and jot down some of your personal findings. I’ve also included a worksheet for you to check your "technology temperature." For the optimum detox experience print both pages out and write in your notes by hand.

The Grateful Graph
Download PDF • 273KB

Tech Temperature
Download PDF • 273KB


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