December is the perfect month to spend a little time doing something different, new, or relaxing. Being in front of your screen is none of these things. I will admit to taking some intentional time during December to clean up my digital photos, Google Drive files, or update my contact list. For this post, I want to share with you some resources that will increase your mindfulness as it pertains to your technology usage and practices.
Recently, I attended our local technology conference organized by TAIS. One of the keynote speakers, Pete Dunlap, discussed the importance of mindful practices as it pertains to our use of technology. One of the tips he shared to better our use of mobile devices was to put only the apps that you use every day on the first screen. This has helped me to be less distracted by social media posts, and extraneous content that doesn’t help me function in my daily life. The other quote he shared that has stayed with me is, “In order to get anything done, we must resist the urge to be constantly entertained.” I am reminded of this now when I have the urge to see what is trending on Youtube or to play a mindless game on the app, Two Dots. His book, Digital Detangler, is an excellent read for anyone interested in improving their mindful use of technology.
I also want to share an episode of a podcast that I listen to often that discusses ways to minimize our time online and reduce screen time. Cal Newport visited the podcast crew at Vrainwaves to talk about his book Digital Minimalism. He talks about a true digital detox practice. If you have a few minutes in your car, it is worth a listen. I learned a lot from this particular episode. Both of these resources are critical if you are a parent of a tween or teenager.
Lastly, and while this may seem counterintuitive to this post, I cannot recommend enough the app Calm to slow things down for a few minutes. As educators, our lives can feel like a nonstop loop that is difficult to contain. This app is sure to help calm your nervous system and is also entertaining. It is pricey, but so worth the investment in your mental health.
I hope this gives you some food for thought and some resources that can enrich your upcoming holiday break. As always, if you have questions never hesitate to reach out!