Did you spend much of 2020 in back to back zoom calls? So many of us did and it looks like this is set to continue well into 2021. There are benefits- many of us have more time as we’re no longer commuting but there are obvious downsides too: we’re all craving real life contact and it looks like that’s going to be off bounds for a little while longer.  

The requirement to be ON online has placed a real strain on many of us in the last year. I’ve been incredibly grateful that zoom has allowed me to continue my business and connect with friends and family. But I’ve also had lots of conversations with people reporting that back to back zoom calls are frankly exhausting. 

The pressure to be on and visible across multiple platforms is there- in addition to social media I’m now using Telegraph and Slack for work. These are great platforms but all together it feels like a real juggle. 

For those of you who have watched The Social Dilemma I’m sure you will have been unnerved by its representation of how social media platforms draw us in and keep us hooked. 

In reality, tech isn’t going away and let’s face it we’d be lost without it. But when almost everything is tech based- work, social life and even exercise there’s an even greater need to manage our relationship. 

Lots of us worry about our kids and technology and it’s a double edged sword- I love hearing my kids chatting and playing with their friends online but managing their use of tech so that they do other things can be hard too. As we know with older kids especially they may not listen to what we say but they watch what we do. 

The comparison trap is also heightened at the moment. Social media so often shows us the filtered and edited lens of other people’s lives and it’s tempting to draw unfavourable comparisons: whether that’s that other people are coping better, home schooling better or exercising more. What we’re missing is those real life interactions- at work or at the school gates when we’re honest with each other about how it REALLY is. 

The relationship with tech is tough for us as adults. When we’re tired or fearful or procrastinating, the dopamine hit we get from scrolling is a tough habit to break. We just want to zone out. There’s nothing wrong with this but sometimes setting parameters can work well for us as well as setting a good example to our kids. 

Daily discipline 

A few years ago as our eldest was approaching wanting a phone age we realised that we needed to model the behaviour we wanted to see. We bought an old school alarm clock and set up a family charging station downstairs. Sometimes actually putting the phone down or switching the TV off is a challenge. Some of my clients have chosen to set a phone alarm to remind them to switch off and go to bed. It might seem silly that as adults we have to do this but it’s hard to muster the willpower at the end of a long day so simple tricks like this can help. 

Although I love socialising and miss family and friends, I also love time alone, curled up with a good book. Let’s hope that social isolation comes to an end as soon as possible- but switching off from social and the news is something I will continue in 2021. 

Taking a break 

Between Christmas and New Year I came away from social media, played actual games with my family, read physical papers and magazines, got through three novels. 

I didn’t scroll on FB or insta. I stayed away from the news- if there’s something really important going on, my family let me know. 

And as a result my brain feels like it’s had the chance to unravel, to take a break and to think properly. This is something I would only usually do in the summer holidays but it’s been so beneficial that I intend to make my tech detox a regular fixture- putting my phone away and taking a break. 

If you are ready to make a change in 2021 and would like some support through 1:1, group coaching or training for your team, please book a discovery call here