With technology becoming more advanced, more and more people are owning smart phones and other portable communication devices. Our phones are with us all the time – in the classrooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, studies, outdoors etc. It is changing how we function, how we do things and how we connect with people.

I am a huge supporter of the tablets and smartphones for their convenience and the ability to connect to the world around us. These devices create opportunities for families all over the world to connect and maintain closer relationships.

I also love my gadgets as they have all my music, the ebooks that I plan to read, my social media connections with the world at the my finger tips, and of course all my correspondence.

The advancement in technology definitely brings the world closer. I am grateful that it gives me the opportunity to connect with all my relatives and friends from all over the world and able to communicate directly with the push of a button. We are also able to read the books with just a few buttons and they are delivered straight to my iPad or phone within seconds. We can keep track of what’s happening in the world 24/7.

For example, I will leave voice or text messages to my relatives in other part of the world as often as I can. I am also able to chat with them with just a click of my finger, through Facebook messenger, Skype,  Whatsapps, LINE and so much more.

There are also other apps that make our lives so much more convenient. For example, the one that we really like is OurGroceries, where we add our household needs onto the apps, so I will be able to check what we need when I do the grocery shopping.

We created group messages to enable us to coordinate family gatherings, send out mass messages to family members, keep them updated of our lives in another part of the world, and so much more.

However, having the convenience of the world at your finger tips does not mean you need to check your Facebook messages, Whatapps messages, WeChat messages at the drop of “ding”. If you do not set firm boundaries on your usage, it is going to bring huge distractions to not only your life, but the lives of the people around you.

Lack of presence, connections and communication

Do you ever find that you are communicating and paying more attention to what’s being shared and said on Facebook rather than at the dinner table or in your family, rather than what your spouse or children are saying and conveying to you when they are in the same room?

I personally have seen families in restaurants browsing their phones, reading their Facebook messages and ignoring the people that are sharing the table with them, i.e. the family members. What is the purpose of going out to eat together as a family when you are not willing to share and communicate with each other?

If this is actually happening, you are actually loosing connections with what is going on around you, and what your food actually tastes like on the dining table? Who are you having the meal with? Sharing about your day with family members in front of you, and exchanging ideas and experiences through dinner conversations is what builds connections.

Your priority, your choice

I, like many others, have the habit of checking my mails, Facebook, messages early in the morning and the last thing before I go to bed. However, that does not mean I check my messages all the time. There has to be a limit!

It is entirely up to you to set the boundaries of digital use in your household. For example, when your family member is around, such as breakfast time, afternoon tea time or dinner time, make sure your phone and other gadgets are switched off or the volume is turned down, and that applies to your children as well with TVs and electronic games. Use these face-to-face times to connect, pay attention, interact and communicate with your children and your spouse instead.

Remember, you are the creator of your life; you have the power to determine how you want your life to look like – it is entirely in your hands.

Your life…. Your Priority!