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the gift that keeps us giving

going back in time

This season invites a bit of nostalgia as we connect with our loved ones. When we think back to baking cookies, lighting candles, or visiting grandparents, we notice a change from days past to our current holiday rhythms. Phones have found their way into our intimate spaces and sacred rituals.  Too often we are mindlessly responding to our devices—with no purpose in mind. We’ve been pondering how we might shift, so that when we’re with friends and family, we’re really with them.

Following a conversation this month (which you can check out on our podcast, embers), our teens inspired us to detach from our phones. To choose to unplug and be more present as a result. They each confided that they want to be on their phones less. Their wish to be less attached to their phones gives us hope. And we wonder how it might feel to open up this conversation within our own circles this season.

teens tell us how

Our teens had simple, practical advice about how we might change our phone habits. They shared choices they are making increasingly often as they navigate ways to unplug. Like us, perhaps you’ll be inspired to give one or two of these ideas a try:

  • at a meal, agree that you’ll all move your phones to another room (or at least stack them on the table)

  • remove social media apps from your phone, making it less appealing to use

  • practice a “digital sunset” by putting your phone away when the sun goes down (a real step towards healthy phone habits if you live in Maine, when the sun sets at 4!)

  • make bedrooms in your home “phone-free” zones

  • commit to staying off your phone at home (and  work?!) when others are around

less blue light

Just as we adjust to less light in winter, we want to do the same with our phones. The paradox is not lost on us. Less connected = more connected. The early evening darkness offers the perfect opportunity to come home, unwind, and connect in person. We’re happy to do it phone-free (the real gift of the season). Maybe you’ll come along too ...


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