Technology plays a big role in all our lives. From our computers to our mobile phones, we are living in a very connected age. It can be a liberating state given its ability to deepen our knowledge and help us connect with loved ones across the world. At times it does have a tendency to rule our lives and interfere with some of our more authentic connections – with our friends, family and God.
If your daily dose of digital has started to rule your life a little bit too much – especially now that winter has descended, and you might be spending more time at home – here are some top tips for how you can take some practical steps to spend less time online and more time enjoying and finding meaning in other areas of your life.
Set aside non-screen time: healthy habits can take a while to form and if you’ve become increasingly attached to technology, dedicate time each day to stepping away from the screen. You could spend your additional available time taking on activities that reflect our Mercy values like ‘hospitality’ and ‘service’. Hospitality might involve ensuring people feel welcome especially those you don’t know so well ro those who live on the margins (might be donating food to shelters or helping to raise money for charities – this is salvation army work! ). Service could involve helping your family around the house or leading a community clean up. These acts of kindness are mercy in action and will enhance the quality of human life – yours and others.
Unplug with others: a problem shared is a problem halved and you will very likely find peers, family and members in your community who want to join you on your crusade to spend less time in the digital world. An important Mercy value is ‘respect’. People earn respect by making a commitment to be the best person they can be every day. All living creatures are interconnected. Uniting with others through a common cause can further enrich our genuine connections.
Get physical: the benefits of exercise are wide ranging, from physical to mental and emotional wellbeing. Step away from your technology and dedicate time each day to pounding the pavement or enjoying a hobby that makes your heart sing. This is a great bonding exercise if your hobby is a team exercise. The spiritual work of Mercy involves being someone who is grateful for the world God has provided us. Adopting a hobby or doing exercise is an important part of showing our appreciation.