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Technological Fast

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2016 | 5:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

Technology has integrated itself into our lives so much so that we spend every waking moment with a phone or tablet at arms length.

Although we are in a digital age, we all need to shut down and unplug from these devices once in a while for the ones we love and our mental health.

Relationship Specialist Dr Sidney McGill fondly calls it a technological fast. He notes that because were are so connected to our devices, it is easy for us to become slaves to them. This, he explains, is because we have to use them in our work, learning, and even in our creative downtime. With them being so ingrained in their lives, he said most persons are not conscious of how much time they spend on them, that they have become anchors in our lives. He notes that when many of us get overwhelmed, we escape into a superficial man made life. Social-media may at times give an illusion of reality since you can make it how you want - it is a make up of our egos.

 

TAKE A BREAK

 

According to McGill, it is important to take a break as there are relationships around us that might be suffering due to our technological binging. He notes that we must first acknowledge that technology is a tool that assists us in our day-to-day activities, and that's all it is. When it comes to parenting, one needs to guide their children on how to use these technologies. The younger the child, the more you guide and set limits so they are not dependent on these tools and become caught up in the superficial aspect.

Adults should also take a fast from these devices, to build on their personal relationships, improving on their ability to communicate and listen.

McGill notes that when you are consumed with your devices, sometimes you do not realise what you are missing as a parent. Your child might be acting up and you are unaware as to why. Children need to feel loved and they might act up for that reinforcement. Good or bad attention is attention, and that will be enough for them.

There are several benefits to this fast.

• To improve a family bond. It it great to have family trips away from the home and these devices, for example a hike. With a hike you will need to work with each other to reach the destination and communication is stimulated. You can even go to the park and have a games day with the family, which is cost effective.

- McGill also notes that it is important that we build a relationship with self, embracing quietitude. Having a relationship with self is very important as it helps you to be all that you need to for your family. So taking time out for silence maximises our spirituality and self to keep us grounded, which will result in you being a better person for yourself, your spouse and your children.