Like many families, you might be struggling with the balance of social media and technology time vs. family time. Our lives have come so over run with technology and social media, that before we know it we can find ourselves missing out on moments to bond, laugh, and enjoy life together. If you are resolving to use less technology and social media in 2015, take a look below at some helpful tips to get you started. You will find 50 Ways to Reduce Technology Use in the New Year so you can fill your time making memories!
50 Ways to Reduce Technology Use in the New Year
1. Get the whole family on board. Call a family meeting to discuss using less technology in the New Year and brainstorm ways to see this through.
2. Write down your vow to use less technology in the New Year. Post the memo on a mirror where you can see it daily and be reminded.
3. Create a vision board. On a poster board cut pictures out of magazines of all of the other non tech related activities you can and want to enjoy with your family.
4. Set a no-tech hour each day in your home. During that hour the no-tech rule must be observed. Plan a fun activity for the family to enjoy during this time.
5. Vow to not use technology such as your cell phones or iPads while driving. Instead talk to each other, listen to the radio, and play fun word games.
6. Make dinner time a no tech time. Put the phones away and enjoy conversing about your day.
7. Set computer time limits. Do this for the whole family and make sure everyone observes them.
8. Let children earn tech time. passes or tickets that give them TV, iPod, iPad, and other tech time.
9. Download timer apps that track the amount of time you spend on your device. This will help you see the amount of time you invest in it, and how you can use that time for other activities.
10. Find healthy alternatives to your tech gadgets. When you get the urge to surf the net or social media, go for a walk instead.
11. Enroll in some type of class. This way, you can learn a new skill instead of wasting time on your phone, computer, etc.
12. Get outdoors. When you are too busy hiking, skiing, skating, and camping you won't have any time or need to invest in your devices.
13. Set a great example for your children. If you stare at your devices all day, so will they. Instead, find other activities to enjoy and show them you can have fun without constant technology in your face.
14. Start heading to the library as a family. You will find yourself too busy with all of the free materials available to you that you won't have time for your devices.
15. Track your tech time. For one day track the amount of time you spend on your phone, computer, etc. At the end of the day look at your total time. See where you could trim back and fill in the time with other activities.
16. Attend live events. Check out live concerts and games instead of just hearing about them on social media.
17. Make plans to meet up with friends. Instead of just interacting on social media, spend time with your friends in person.
18. Plant a real garden. Gardening in real life is much more rewarding than tending to a fake one on social media.
19. Get out and window shop. It will keep you active and beats surfing stores online anytime.
20. Cook with your family. Stop just “pinning” recipes online and instead try making some of them together as a family.
21. Turn your phone off at a certain point in the evening. Don't turn it on or check it until the next morning.
22. Cut back your cell phone plan. This way, you will force yourself into using it less.
23. Put chargers away each evening. This will let children know tech time is almost up.
24. Use games and other tech devices as a reward. You can reward children for getting involved in physical activities, educational activities, or for helping around the house.
25. Let friends and family know you are cutting back. Don't worry, they will find other ways to interact with you.
26. Write a letter. Try writing a letter to a friend instead of sending an email.
27. Buy greeting cards so you can send them on birthdays. They sure beat a social media birthday wish!
28. Keep a contacts book. You won't always have to consult your phone.
29. Invest in board games and card games. This will limit you from having to use your devices.
30. Leave your cell phone in the car when you meet friends for dinner or drinks. This way you can focus on them and the conversation.
31. Skip the internet for recipes. Browse through old cookbooks for some unique recipes.
32. Check your email only during set times. Instead of checking your email every 20 minutes give it a check every three hours. Set a routine of checking it at 9, noon, 3, and 6. You can then check it once more before bed at 9.
33. Stop downloading apps that are a distraction. Download only apps that are needed.
34. Pick up and read a newspaper. Don't just rely on social media for your news source.
35. Head to a real arcade. This is a fun activity you can enjoy with your family instead of playing online games.
36. Do a craft. Try creating some of the cool DIY ideas you “pinned” throughout the year.
37. Better yet, create a real bulletin board full of ideas you want to try. Attach paint swatches, magazine pictures, fabric samples, and more for inspiration.
38. Forget the memes. Have your own stand up comedy show in your own living room.
39. Call a friend to ask a question instead of sending a text. This is much more personal.
40. Don't rely on social media to send condolences. Instead send flowers, take over a meal, or send a card.
41. Share pictures by creating a hand held album. Print out all of the photos you have been storing on social media all these years.
42. Send out real invitations. Don't text them or use an online invite. It will be more personal.
43. Try unplugging entirely for a weekend. If it works, try it again in the future. If it doesn't, try for a day instead of a weekend.
44. Get involved in activities that force you to unplug. An example would be swimming or working out.
45. Take some time to play with the family pet. They don't care about technology so it is the perfect time to set it aside.
46. Host a game night. Play some trivia games with a friend or family instead of online varieties.
47. Encourage and support other family members as they attempt to unplug. Praise their efforts when you notice them.
48. Thank others when they offer you personal time and attention. Let them know you appreciate not just using social media.
49. Take a tech free vacation. Unplug, unwind, and relax without distractions.
50. Invest in a new camera. You won't have to always carry your phone around in order to get great pictures.
Let this year be the year you rely less on tech time and instead focus on family time! When you give these 50 tips a try, you will find that quality time with your family is right at your fingertips. All you need to do is a little shuffling and adjusting. Give them a try!