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Photo: Alex Berger

We live in a wired world and, though this brings many benefits, there is a very dark side to technology. The dark side is actually a pretty big portion of our social media usage. Social media limits our privacy and face-to-face contact making it difficult to disconnect from work. In fact, social media adds quite a bit of stress into a lot of peoples lives.

It’s not always easy to disconnect from work if a good portion of it is online, or on social media.  But there are times where it is necessary… like during the holiday season.

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Too much time wasted on our phones
Social media and not being able to unplug is definitely affecting people of all ages – it’s not limited to just millennials. According to CNN, the average teen sends over 3,000 texts per month. That’s not even time spent on Instagram or Facebook – that is texting alone. Our phones and social apps like Instagram are now sharing “screen time” with us. This lets us know how much time we are spending on social which is probably a whole lot. 

Setting goals to unplug are often a fail

Many of us have a hard time unplugging, even if we have the best intentions to really soak up the moments and live presently. The issue is that people do not think long-term enough to make their intentions successful. Most of us tell ourselves that we will unplug and really soak in our vacation (or whatever moment it is), but the second we want to capture something, or Facetime our best friends because of something amazing, we lose sight of our original goal to unplug.

Plan ahead for the holidays

Maybe in the past, these goals were a fail but it doesn’t mean you can’t try again, right? Plan ahead for the holidays and get ready to disconnect with tech and connect with your loved ones. How will this even be possible?  By following some super simple tips like the ones below.

Silence Notifications

Silence, or completely turn off your notifications to social media. This way, you do not see that you have notifications waiting. When you do not see a notification, or you do not hear a text, call, or email come in, you are not so distracted and tempted to want to check your phone. Life Hack says that this is a good thing because it can limit the pressure you feel by having to answer immediately and/or multi-task and it can help us with our efficiency by not having distractions and only doing one thing at a time.

Set Limits

If you really cannot fully unplug during the holidays, set boundaries, or limits for yourself. For example, maybe limit your phone usage to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes to an hour in the evening. Set a timer to help. So, if I were doing that, I could limit Instagram and Facebook, but I could still text so that I could wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Just make sure you set enough limits to really unplug.

Life Hack says, “Often times having your phone next to you at all times creates the need to check in too often.  It’s so hard to shy away from that green or blue notification light blinking away! Dedicate breaks of time where your cell phone is out of sight, so you can focus and truly be with people during your day.  Create a set of personal rules, such as no phone interactions at the dinner table, while you have company over, or while you are in a public place.”

Photo: Alex Berger

Your Business Will Be Okay

Some people are afraid that their business will tank if they unplug, especially if they have an online business (bloggers, I’m talking to you, especially). Girl Boss, don’t be scared! Sometimes, it is tremendously helpful to unplug and it can leave us refreshed and ready to tackle on our work even more after the holidays. It’s a good thing for most people that need a break! If you still worry about your business, then you might want to consider hiring someone for social media marketing, or search engine optimization, to make sure your business does not lose any steam while you are unplugging. If you are looking for someone in the New Jersey area, check into NJ SEO  .

Run by Matt Anton, NJ SEO is the number 1 marketing agency in New Jersey. Why? For a few reasons. To start off, they know what they are doing. They outrank their competitors. I love that the company takes a holistic approach to each individual internet marketing strategy. Their main focus is conversions and with their full-service search engine marketing plan and execution, couples with website tweaks, it will ensure you reach ultra-targeted traffic, with the highest contact rates in your industry. 

So, if you want to focus on your business, without having to stay on your phone or computer non-stop, consider hiring someone to help! 

Christmas time is all about soaking in the moments with the people you love, so take time to unplug this year (and maybe even make it a 2019 goal!) you’ll see how much happier you can be when you live in the moment. Happy Holidays!