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Monday Mom challenge: Go on a technology diet

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Drop a few (technology) ounces

Between your smartphone, your tablet, your laptop, your netbook and goodness knows how many other devices, you are one connected mama! But... do you respond to your phone's new mail alarm faster than to your daughter's wail? You need balance. Time to go on a technology diet.

mom-on-a-computer

Technology brings so much to our lives. What was once the stuff of science fiction is now reality! But is it too much of a good thing? Can we be so connected that that we are paying more attention to technology than to our human relationships, throwing everything out of balance? Very possibly.

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  • Do you check your email even before you get out of bed in the morning?
  • Have you risked accident and injury by checking email while driving?
  • Does the idea of a power outage trigger anxiety for lost online time?
  • Do you prioritize checking social media over making dinner, snuggling with your kids or just enjoying a beautiful day?
  • Have you ever forgotten what you are doing because you are too consumed with posting a status update?

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you already know what it means: You need a break from technology. You need this technology diet.

 

Diet strategies

So, how do you do it? Just like a "regular" diet: with care, determination, discipline and resolve.

  • Set a date. Set a date to start your diet. Strategize about how you will meet your goals and be ready when the date arrives.
  • Cold turkey or wean? For some, cold turkey is the way to go. Put the smartphone in a drawer and walk away for 24 hours. Turn off the computer and deactivate the cable modem. You will survive! For others, weaning is it. Use the devices for less and less time each day -- and increase other activities, such as exercise or playing Legos with your son.
  • Use parental controls -- on yourself. Those parental controls you set up for your kids work just as well on you. Use timers and blocks to limit the time you can even access technology.
  • Set goals and use rewards. Set reachable goals for your technology diet and have non-technology rewards. For example, not checking email before getting out of bed for five days could mean a trip to your favorite bakery for pastry and a latte. Whatever the goals and rewards, make them real -- and realistic.

Seek balance

The goal of a technology diet is to achieve a better balance between real life and online life. As wonderful as technology is, you can live without it. You may not want to and may not have to, but you can.

Making best use of technology while keeping it in proper balance is the goal of your technology diet, and your family life will be better for it.

More on moms and technology

Why moms need a weekly break from technology
How technology can help you be supermom
Working Mom 3.0: Tech Tools for Working Moms

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