Just before Christmas, my husband and I decided to give each other a joint gift: a subscription to a streaming platform. We thought it would be nice to watch movies together in the evening, maybe after putting the kids to bed.
It was unfortunate that we all ended up getting sick in the lead-up to Christmas, but thankfully, we recovered by Christmas Eve. The problem was: no presents. We let the grandparents take care of the kids’ gifts, and we decided to wait to give each other gifts. We decided that it would be one of our New Year's digital resolutions to watch a movie in the evening every couple weeks. The only criterion was that it had to be a quality movie, carefully chosen, that would nourish us or make us genuinely happy. This was the first digital resolution for the year to come. Though, when we stopped to think of others, we thought maybe we should share them with you.
1. Don’t pick up your cell phone first thing in the morning (let it at least be the second, following a prayer of gratitude, for example!)
Half of all Italians look at the notifications on their cell phone as soon as they wake up in the morning. It's the first thing they do. And I think this statistic might apply to most of the global population, wherever technology has strongly taken root.
As if your Instagram profile changed drastically overnight! I can’t judge anyone. I’ll be the first to admit I do this.
This year I’d like to change this habit and let the cell phone be at least the second thing I pick up and the screen not be the first thing I look at. Saying “good morning” to my husband and kids takes precedence.
2. Don’t let the cell phone get in the way of play time with my kids
My son and I were playing Uno a few days ago when I saw the screen light up: it was a WhatsApp text.
I promptly looked at the notification, neglecting the game. "Mom, you're always on your cell phone!", my son said.
Embarrassed at being called out by a child who’s not even six years old, I put my phone away and continued the game. That comment, however, has had me thinking for days.
How often do we interrupt a happy moment with them because the phone rings?
How many times, instead of watching them play, instead of watching them grow, do we alienate ourselves with our phones?
Here's another resolution for this year: to keep my cell phone off or out of reach during important moments of quality time with my kids.
3. Turn off the cell phone, T.V., and computer a few hours before going to bed.
I already know that I won't always be able to make that happen, and I don't want to make promises that I can't keep later. However, at least once or twice a week, I dream of turning off my cell phone before dinner to "rest" my mind and experience the thrill of time passing slowly. I’d like to sharpen my ability to focus completely on those I’m with and find stimulation in the non-digital world around me...
Sometimes it feels like we are lost without our electronics. They seem to have become "another vital organ." Yet, as soon as you start reclaiming spaces without them, you realize that not only do you survive, but you have a better quality of life!
Technology is good in the right dosage. This is my latest resolution.
And what are your digital resolutions?