One way to reduce the noise in our lives is to practice tech free days. It’s a day (or a few hours) where we turn off and step away from our technology devices like phones, computers, laptops, tablets, eReaders, electronic games, or televisions. We take the time we normally spend behind the screen and use it to spend time with family and friends or practicing selfcare.
We can’t completely go tech free. After the 1980s, cars came with computerized parts. Let’s not get nitty-gritty with the details. We spend a lot of time behind tech screens because we become unaware of time, especially since we can do just about anything with computers or phones. Work. School. Hobbies. Watch TV shows or movies. Call a cab. Get food delivered. The point is to use some of that screen time for IRL (in real life) activities to give our brains a rest or build relationships or slow down enough to take care of ourselves.
Here are some ideas on how to practice a tech free day.
Schedule it. Because our lives are so intertwined with technology, it’s hard to spontaneously have a tech free day that isn’t caused by a blackout or a dead zone. Put your tech free day in your schedule, and plan accordingly.
Let your family know about it (get them to join you). Automate what you can (ie: if you have blog or social media posts that need to go out). Figure out how you can be contacted in case of emergencies.
Plan what you’re going to do. When we’re bored, we reach for the phones. It’s become common habit that nobody blinks an eye anymore. Plan the activities you’re going to do. Have back up activities. Don’t think you’re planning a full schedule that’s going to tire you out.
Think about it. Maybe you can read a book. How long does it take you to read a book? It can take up the entire day! Maybe your family can go on a picnic at the park. That can take up an entire day, too. Maybe you can garden in the morning, complete the DIY project in the afternoon, and give yourself a mani-pedi at night.
Put your tech gadgets away. Out of sight, out of mind. I recommend getting a box or container and filling it with the items you’ll need for your tech free day plus a written out plan or schedule. For example, put in the book, a puzzle, a manicure kit, a DIY project, etc. On your tech free day, exchange these items with your gadgets and place the box away. For bigger technology like the TV or desktop computer, cover them up!
Go old school. Some drawbacks to a tech free day is not being able to use the helpful technology we have. If you’re a runner, you probably use a step counter connected to your phone. If you’re a baker, you probably use one of the many recipe apps out there. Most of us use your phones’ cameras to capture and share memories.
It’s time to go old school. Exchange the new tech for old tech. Use a pedometer. Use an actual cookbook (see if you can borrow grandma’s cookbook from a family member). Use a disposable camera. You can get the pictures develop and order a CD with digital copies to go along with them.
Have you ever practiced a tech free day or hours? I hope you try it!