We've all been in a bar and bemoaned the surrounding tables of people who are more interested in their Facebook feed, than the friend sitting opposite them. Entire dinner times lost scrolling through the internet making you wonder why they bothered even coming out at all?
What's the first thing you do in the morning? Is it make a coffee, hug your spouse or check your smartphone? I'm guessing it's the latter. After all, the average person checks their phone 85 times a day, receives just over 100 emails and spends around three hours actively using the internet - so you'd probably need to get going with all of that from your first waking moment.
It may be a cliche, but I believe the best things in life ARE free and are about experiences, not shoes, cars or contouring make up. In this world, unfortunately, we are rarely reminded of how much goodness there is around us just for the taking - the balance is completely skewed.
Symptoms: Texting while walking, crossing the road or... peeing. Pressing the close doors button in lifts. Rushing. Everywhere. Even to the printer. Throwing a strop when you just miss a tube. Feelings of anxiety, guilt, failure or exhaustion. Saying thinks like, "I'm just being efficient," "but I love being busy" or "I'm just trying to keep my head above water"
The world around is changing and I can't wait to see what the future brings. But does that mean it has to be at the expense of social interaction? The laughter heard between friends? Or the touch of a loved ones skin? You can be anyone online but in real-life you have no option but to be you.
Starting this January, I slowly began to retrain my thinking. I vowed to only do one thing at a time whether that be answering my emails, walking the dogs or cooking dinner. It hasn't been easy. My phone is like an excited toddler, constantly vying for my attention with it's emails, texts, app's and its near permanent internet connection.
We're stressed, we feel over-worked and arranging to meet up with friends feels more like a chore than the fun evening out it's mean to be. Personally, I think these are several symptoms of our increasing tech addiction.
When we carry our digital devices with us it means that we bring our work with us everywhere we go. It's right there in our pocket or on the table next to us. Our brain and body are never really disconnected from our work life.
Holidays are the main reason why August is the month when most people take digital detox. However, now that the summer is almost over and we are back to our lives and pouring rain, how can we make sure that our digital detox results stick?
So it's that time of year again: end of summer holidays, and beginning of blogs and TV shows about screen time restrictions. Should you wean your children off of devices gradually or let them have a last blast before the constraints of the school year kick in?
If you think about keeping your kids safe around a swimming pool we can protect them from falling in by putting up fences and setting alarms and using padlocks and banning them from going near, but the most important thing to do is TO TEACH THEM HOW TO SWIM.
Shaming is not an acceptable teaching technique. Publicly shaming your child will not encourage them to have open and honest dialogue with you. It teaches children that their parents are more interested in the performance of 'safety' than their actual safety.
So many wildlife conservation campaigns out there trying to protect the worlds beautiful creatures from death via poaching and natural habitat destruction yet as a society, many of us overlook the importance of protecting our young (the digital natives) from growing up without the truly amazing experience of a care-free childhood, one steeped in nature, adventure, curiosity and the odd bump and graze here and there.
I needed a wifi-free holiday. I was sick of feeling like an ambassador of myself! Facebook: so shallow and adolescent! Screw you, Zuckerberg! If I take a photo of this moment or a video of this concert, it means I'm not BEING HERE NOW.
Through colouring in you can focus your mind on one small task at a time, whether that is shading an area, or losing yourself in the finer details. While this is by no means a cure for stress or anxiety, it can definitely be another weapon to add to your arsenal, calming and centring your mind.
It's not that I am embarrassed of these snaps - and quite frankly I did nothing of particular interest when I was knocking around in my teens - but there's something very intimate about my early FB years. They are self portraits capturing a time that I was still trying to figure myself out.