Dear phone; I love you, but…

A common question among parents is how to get a grip on our own phone usage so we’re modeling balance and presence for our kids. That’s not easy when personal and work tasks are rarely more than a text, email, or phone call away. This brief blog post isn’t going to answer that larger “how to” for you, but will instead extend an invitation to pause and disconnect in some creative ways that might tweak your relationship with your device for the better.

Our phones can make the holiday season easier–think online stores and grocery lists accessible from wherever we find ourselves with an unscheduled moment. But with our normal demands compounded by longer to-do lists, busier social calendars, and possibly extra work shifts, the temptation to fill every second with to-do’s is real. December’s pace can make intervals of calm presence seem elusive. But if we carve out a few more screen-free moments, we might notice that we’re a bit more “there” for a friend or loved one, we might use the time to watch the snow fall or our kids play, or we might even revel in the novel sensation of doing absolutely nothing for a minute or two. Sounds pretty nice, no?

In under 30 minutes, this podcast offers a glimpse of what it can look like to give ourselves a brief time out to reflect on how we’re using our phones, and why.  Jia Tolentino, New Yorker writer, and Cal Newport, author of Digital Minimalism, share some of their insights in this engaging interview. If multitasking is your mantra right now, why not listen while gift wrapping or dishwashing?  Let yourself fantasize about what it might feel like to leave your phone home while you run your next errand, or to delete the time-sucking-est app on your device for a day or a week.

At PSTT, we’re keen on the idea of experimenting to find new ways to make our tech work better for us. You might find that a suggestion offered in this episode might be worth a try. If you do, we’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, Samantha, Julie, and Amy wish you a joy-filled holiday season!

woman playing with snow
Photo by Gleb Dolskiy on

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