Life is too short to spend on your phone (or behind any screen)! Technology addiction is rising and keeping us from connecting with those around us! Join the UNPLUG from Technology challenge. Connect! Get STUFF done! You'll thank me, later!

Hi. My name is Jordan and I'm a technoholic.

I have been suffering from a technology addiction for quite some time. Mostly, I'm addicted to my phone! But really an addiction is an addiction so what does it matter? I justify this technology addiction all day long, because it's my “job” to be immersed in social media and the web… to know what's the latest and greatest… right?

Sure, just like a bank robber could justify robbing a bank because it's his “job” to provide for his family. You can't.

While technically it IS my job to immerse myself in social media (just as a bank robber technically does need to provide for his family), the HOW is the real issue here. My phone, computer, and social media usage – while all necessary and great (cause I get to connect with you Freebs) – seeps into dinner time…kid time…husband time…gym time…heck, I don't even go to the BATHROOM without my phone!

No more. It's time to FOCUS.

It's time to stop looking down at my screen, and start looking up at the world around me. It's time to UNPLUG from technology a little, and LIVE a lot more…and naturally, I want you all to do it with me ๐Ÿ™‚

Who's in?

WHY UNPLUG FROM TECHNOLOGY

Every February we do this Unplug Challenge! It's Focus on Relationships month in #FreebsNation! We're issuing a challenge to unplug from our phones, TVs, computers, tablets, and any form of game completely when someone else is around.

Finding yourself preoccupied with your phone! It's time to disconnect so you can reconnect with those around you. Check out how to have a digital detox with Fun Cheap or Free

Sometimes we need to disconnect in order to reconnect with what matters.

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Technology is one of the greatest blessings on earth. Between medical advancements and being able to stay in touch with people from the other side of the world, technology has changed our world for the better.

Technology also robs us from making meaningful connections and can be toxic to our mental and physical health. This month we want to capitalize on the good, and let go of the bad habits we've developed when it comes to technology.

BENEFITS OF UNPLUGGING

Let's talk about what we're going to gain! Heaven knows, we NEED the motivation!

  • Frees up time to be productive with more important tasks that will leave you filling more fulfilled.
  • Gives opportunities to find peace and contentment in your daily life.
  • Allows you to be PRESENT with the ones you love.
  • No more FOMO if you aren't looking at everyone else's highlight reel all day!
  • Helps you develop deeper connections with everyone around you.
  • Decreases feelings of jealousy and loneliness caused by comparison on social media and the web!
  • In short, it helps you BE HAPPY!

And don't we all want to be happy?

We know it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so this challenge is going ALL.MONTH.LONG. I might need to continue in March, because I'm sure phone addiction takes longer to mend than 30 days. But after reading the list of benefits, I'm really motivated and ready to get over this technology addiction already.

MY TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION

Before I give you the details of how this Unplug Challenge will work, read how I got to this point first.

I'm going to use some personal examples here since acknowledging an addition is the first step! I am WELL AWARE that these behaviors are not the best and I'm working on changing them. I just have to eat a little bit of humble pie before I can move forward. So how 'bout I start by airing my dirty laundry to the whole world first.

I hope you feel better about yourself after reading this…

A GLIMPSE INTO MY TECHNOHOLIC LIFE

I wake up, and before I even get out from under the covers, I check my phone. For what? Couldn't tell you. But my thumbs usually wander over to Instagram or emails…but it could be the weather, shopping apps, my calendar, doesn't really matter.

I'm on my phone while brushing my teeth. Going to the bathroom. In-between fixing breakfast for my kids. Much of the time it's posting to social media because as a blogger you have to take advantage of peak times, and morning is one of them. But I seem to linger longer and longer, looking at other people's profiles, searching hashtags, or just wasting time. Sometimes I multitask and do this while interacting with my family, but many times I zone out and don't even notice my kids are talking to me.

I put my phone in my bag at the gym during my class, and find myself reaching for it the moment I pick my bag back up again after class, and have my nose stuck in it all the way to the locker room. I can then be found texting continually, and again on social media, all while doing my makeup and getting ready.

I hit a red light in my car, and immediately reach for my phone. I tried one day to leave my phone in the seat next to me, and I made it about 2 miles before I couldn't stand it any more and had to have it in the cup holder, safely by my side…or even in my lap, just so I knew it was close. Sadly, my car even has super fancy bluetooth connection so I can even make calls with my steering wheel and never need my phone…yet still, the urge to do emails, social media, and web is too strong for me much of the time.

Sometimes at home I completely lose track of my phone, which drives Bubba nuts because those are always the times that he seems to need me for something. But it doesn't take long for me to pull out all the stops to find it, stopping everything I'm doing until it's found.

I work while my kids are sleeping, and try not to work once they are awake. While they're sleeping I'm completely plugged in, in the zone, working as furiously as possible because their naps are never long enough and the work is never finished. So sometimes it takes me 20-30 minutes after they wake up to snap out of work mode and wrap up what I'm doing. Putting my computer away isn't too hard, I just leave it in the other room. My phone, though, is always on me. I find myself playing with my kids and after only a few minutes my mind wanders to something that I need to get done and bam…my phone comes out. Adding something to my shopping list. Tagging someone in a picture that I forgot to tag earlier. Responding to reader comments and questions. Checking my calendar. Texting, texting, and more texting. Taking pictures and videos. Then editing and posting the pictures and videos. I'm still in the room with my kids, in their presence, but not really present. You'd think I would've learned that lesson, eh?

I find myself turning to my phone as a social buffer. While waiting in line at the store, my nose is sometimes in my phone instead of socializing with the strangers around me, and sometimes hardly acknowledging my cashier. When I am alone at an event or party, my phone is my wingman and allows me to busy myself in it rather than face awkwardness. It keeps me from having to look people in the eye.

At dinner I find myself sneaking quick glances at this or that on my phone, or capturing pictures or videos of the great things we are doing. Sometimes I can do it while having great dinnertime conversation, sometimes I completely zone out and Bubba has to snap me back.

Sometimes at night I'm exhausted and can't WAIT to fall asleep. I get ready for bed, turn out my light, my head hits my pillow…then I make the mistake of grabbing my phone one last time, to check who knows what…and next thing you know 20, 30, or 40+ minutes have been wasted by my getting sucked into Instagram, or Facebook, or Youtube, or heaven knows what else.

I'm even embarrassed to admit that the first paragraph of this email was drafted on my phone tonight, sitting next to my sweet little 4 year old in the back of the car while Bubba was driving us all home after a family activity. My son had his head on my shoulder and was holding my hand (cutest thing ever to hold a tiny hand), and I eventually let go of his hand because it was too hard to type one-handed. Totally ashamed thinking back on it. What a sweet moment I wasted.

Let's STOP. Stop wasting precious moments that help us connect with those we love!

UNPLUG WITH ME!!

If your technology usage is out of control, you might feel overwhelmed, disconnected, sad, tired or stressed! Yeah…constantly being connected can do that to ya! When your life is always plugged in, you might need to take a minutes to recharge! It's time to unplug from technology, my friend!

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

Anne Lamott

DEFEAT THE TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION WITH A DIGITAL DETOX

For those of you who can go all out, a digital detox will do you wonders! Set aside several hours of the day when you HIDE YOUR PHONE and disconnect from all technology. You may love the results so much that you may want to challenge yourself to a longer digital detox.

Use your planner to schedule in time to unplug from technology! More tips on how to have a digital detox from Fun Cheap or Free

If you've seen my block schedule video, you know that I schedule in time to be unplugged right there in my blocks! This helps!! But I'm not always perfect at it. I need that constant reminder and an occasional digital detox to get me back on track.

UNPLUG FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

Many people benefit from taking a couple days, or even a week-long break, to unplug from technology – specifically from social media! I highly encourage you to try it… just make sure to come back to me when you're done!

Now if that seems completely impossible for some of you, keep in mind that I'm not saying don't use your phones, computers, iPads, or TVs. Let's be honest, that's not realistic.

MODIFIED DIGITAL DETOX

Ooookay! The real challenge here… Or the challenge that I AM going to issue is to only use technology when no one else is around.

Including the cashier at the store, our kids, spouse, coworkers, friends, or even the random people sitting next to us on the bus. Unless we're by ourselves, we don't touch it.

  • Want to check social media? Great! Do it when going to the bathroom. Alone in the car. Getting ready for the day.
  • Want to catch up on our DVR shows? Awesome! Let's do it on a night when our spouses are working late and the kids are in bed. Even if our spouses want to watch the shows with us, let's TURN IT OFF and TALK INSTEAD! Catch up! Calendar! Make plans!

We will be more productive if we unplug from technology and tune in to life. And that's what I'm all about!

Yes, you will see me posting on social media, just as I hope to see you posting on social media.

I will be checking my phone, texting, and making calls, and you better believe I won't miss an episode of The Bachelor on my DVR. BUT…I am committing to only using technology during appropriate times. I'm committed to doing it when no one else is around. This won't be easy, because I'm usually around people…which is great because it will force me to cut back and prioritize how I use my time.

WAYS TO UNPLUG FROM TECHNOLOGY

If you need a little more inspiration on how to unplug here are some great tips to help you get started and implement this digital detox (no matter what level you need to detox). You ready?

10 easy ways to unplug from technology! From Fun Cheap or Free
  • Start your day with gratitude, prayer, meditation, study… something uplifting! Don't reach for that phone! Give yourself anywhere from 15-60 minutes phone free in the morning and you will not believe the difference it makes in your whole day!
  • BLOCK IT!! I live by my Productivity Planner and I'm telling you, scheduling in time to unplug is essential for my day! I always try to make sure my meal-time and family blocks are unplugged so I can connect with my husband and kids!
  • Turn off all Push Notifications so your phone isn't constantly dinging and distracting you from what's going on around you.
  • Set App Limits on your phone. For iPhone users, go to settings and select screen time, you can then click on app limits and set time limits for your biggest app temptations… I'm lookin at you Instagram! You can also select downtime and your phone will give you warnings when it's time to put your phone away!!
  • Be productive. You may think that this is a bit silly. But plan out your day and all the things you'll get done in those pockets of time you usually spend on your phone. Go conquer your day!
Ways to unplug from technology! 10 tips to help you with your digital detox from Fun Cheap or Free
  • Do something for your body! Instead of lazily browsing Instagram or Facebook, get up! Get moving! If your hands are busy, you won't be sneaking a peak at your phone.
  • Find an accountability partner to cheer you on in your quest to complete your digital detox! Maybe find someone else who also struggles with a technology addiction and wants to join you in creating a healthier lifestyle.
  • Put your tech to bed! This goes right along with limits, but it's super helpful if you have a time every night when you put the phone down. Make it a habit.
  • Worst case scenario, if nothing else works… TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!!! You can't use it if it's off.
  • More frequent digital detox sessions will help keep your technology addiction away! If you feel like your phone and technology are taking over, it may be time to completely unplug and recharge for 3-5 days!

TIME TO KICK THIS TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION IN THE BUTT

Let's get our family involved! Our kids! Let's shout it to the rooftops! Pin this! Post it on Facebook! Tell your friends! Let's start a FunCheapOrFree #UnplugChallenge movement! Tell the world about it!…

…just be sure to do so once you're by yourself.

Join our Unplug from Technology Challenge (a month-long digital detox to fight technology addiction), plus get 10 simple ways to get started! From Fun Cheap or Free

Let's do this. CHEST BUMP AND GRUNT.

XOXO

Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free