Are you having problems connecting with people around you? If you are, it could be because of the excessive use of technology accompanied with the stress that arises during the holidays. Higher stress levels can affect the way you communicate effectively with others. Therefore, in the spirit of the holiday season, I am going to give you a few tips to help you connect with the ones you love and get back to basics with those warm, fuzzy feelings you felt as a child. I will call this the ultimate Holiday Technology and Social Media Etiquette.
The important takeaway you need from this article is that in order to have meaningful conversations, you should restrict the use of technology. At first it will be hard, I mean, we are pretty much attached to our phones, but that doesn’t mean it is not doable.
Before the Holidays
Because you are already so attached to your device, you will need some practice before the big family gathering.
- Don’t check your social media apps or fantasy football team for two or three hours. Once you check, try to wait longer before you check again. This will prepare your endurance for the big day.
- Limit your cellphone use during meals– even if you are eating by yourself.
- Don’t check your phone while talking with someone else.
During the Holidays
If you made it this far without dying from tech withdrawal, you are ready for the big holiday. Try this to help you bond with your family members and friends:
- Avoid talking about topics of things you saw online. Talk about how those very things you saw made you reflect about your own passions and experiences.
- Give the floor to another family member and just listen. Do not practice in your head what you will say next.
- Don’t use your phone at all during meals. And after the meal, try to stay at the dinner table making conversation. Keep your phone away in a different room if you can.
- Don’t use your phone while your friends and family are opening presents– unless you are taking a photo, of course.
- Wait after any family gathering to upload photos.
If you truly cannot control yourself, Focus Lock is here to the rescue. This is an app where you can lock yourself out of certain apps/places on your phone and set a time for them to unlock (such as after you get home from the big gathering).
After the Holidays
Hopefully by this point you have appreciated how great it is to stay away from technology for a while. If you were unable to make conversations because your family members were attached to their respective phones, just remember, it could have been you.
One final thought, do use technology to call those people who couldn’t make it to the holiday gathering instead of mass texting an impersonal happy holiday message.
Hope these tips are useful and that you are now on your way to having a great holiday!
Divulge some of your holiday tech tips by tweeting at us @thesocialfirm.