So it’s finally 2018. Goodbye 2017.
So, raise your hand if you made some fun resolutions for this year…wow, that many of you. Cool, how many of you plan on sticking with them? …hmm…only a few hands still up. Well, we here at Growing in Tech have made a list of our own…however, it’s not the normal list of things like “get in shape” or “eat better”…this is our Tech Resolutions for 2018.
Dock the phones and be present with family.
This one seems straight forward and simple. Trust us, it is easier said than done. In a world where constant connection to the universe is at your fingertips, it is hard to put your device down and spend quality time with those you love. However, it is something that we desperately need in this day and age. We recommend purchasing or crafting your own charging station where your phones and tablets can remain docked during the prime hours of the day. Allow yourself a few small chunks of time to check your notifications but immediately return it to the dock station.
I recently read an article (link) that showcases some of the statistics about excessive device usage and some of the advantages to unplug frequently. There are many mental health benefits such as less anxiety, fewer feelings of jealousy, removal of the fear of missing out, and much more. All you have to do is take the device out of your hand or pocket and resolve to pay more attention to the things and people around you.
Remove distracting apps
We are culprits of random and mindless scrolling on Facebook, Google, and Pinterest. It’s really easy to get sucked into news feeds and scroll through stories and articles that are hand-picked (albeit by a computer algorithm) based on our likes. We made the resolution to remove these apps from our phones to eliminate one of the many things that cause distraction and laziness in our lives. So far we have removed Facebook, Instagram, most games, and Twitter from our smartphones.
If you aren’t willing to make the leap to removing the apps completely, at least consider turning off the notifications for certain apps to remove the temptation of seeing who just liked your cat picture.
This article (link) has a bunch of tips on how to make your phone less distracting and less tempting to pick up just to randomly scroll through a feed.
Reduce your digital footprint
Kelsey and I have resolved to make more of an effort to reduce the amount of garbage and data we generate online. Many people don’t think twice about signing up for a new free service or website without reading the user agreement (which almost always details some or all of the data they’ll be collecting about your). This year we plan on using better online practices to make our footprint a few shoe sizes smaller.
Just to clarify, the footprint I’m referring to is the amount of data that companies collect about you to build a digital profile that they can sell to other companies to generate targeted ads or build customized user experiences. Sometimes these are unavoidable with certain services, but there are many ways to reduce the amount of data available to them.
TechRadar published a small list of things people can easily do to reduce the footprint. They include things like using a privacy minded browser, installing tracking blockers, setting up privacy settings in all of your online accounts, and using a “dummy” email to sign up for sites and services.
Unplug, be present, be happy! Have an awesome 2018.