Is it possible to start or grow a business AND set a good example for kids when it comes to using technology?
Technology is important. As a business owner in the 21st century you have to be pretty focused on building an online community, reaching new customers through platforms like Facebook and sharing your story through the latest social media tactics like Instagram live stories.
At the same time as pouring hours and hours into utilising technology to grow a business, you don't want to let technology rule your life and take over. I particularly want to set a good example for my kids when it comes to using my smart phone, however it is easy to get caught up in the online world and miss the little moments that are happening around us all the time.
Even though the online world seems big and everyone is connected virtually these days on social media, the reality is that there are people in front of me nearly all of my day. This includes my kids, husband, our families, friends and community. I don't want to ignore, or overlook them because they matter to me - and while growing my business is important to me, so too is being attentive to the world around me.
Now, it's not that all these people are always there physically around me. That would be a bit too intense! When I am with them, however, I want to be present with them, see them and enjoy them. At moments like birthdays, or meeting a friend for coffee or even the every day family meal, I don’t want to overlook the people around me because I am distracted with my phone.
Even as a mumpreneur trying to get my new business hitting the next growth level, I particularly want set a great example for my kids to follow in how to use digital devices. When it comes to using technology like smart phones, laptops etc. they are important, but so are the moments and people around us, so I've prepared a few ideas that I'd like to share with you on how I do this.
Here's three simple ideas for balancing technology with reality
- Be grateful for technology, but don't gorge on it. I am thankful for what social media can add to my life, however, when I overindulge on social media, I find that it has taken me away from something great in my own reality. Gratitude is a simple, thankful attitude that reminds us that life is beautiful and is happening all around you, not only on The Internet.
- Control your technology, don't let it control you. As a designer that wants to get my products out there, I'm investing in building social media communities and it is lots of fun meeting new people through Instagram and Facebook. The challenge is that I need to have breaks from being online, for my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Now this might look different for everyone, but I find that I need to sleep at night in a separate room to my phone so that I'm not tempted to check it. What would help you control the usage of technology so that it is a benefit and not a burden in your life?
- Focus on face-to-face friends above screen friends. The simple fact is that I could spend all day connecting online with people. Yet, I might still feel lonely or disconnected because there is nothing like the real warmth of a friendly hug, a good solid belly laugh with an old friend or the power of community when you are at a great party or family gathering. Being present in the moment with the people around you is something I am continually improving on and don't claim to have this perfect in my life. Rather than checking my phone and looking at social media, I want to demonstrate how to work hard when it's work time, and play joyfully and personally when it is relaxation time. The tricky part with being a mumpreneur is that these lines of work and play aren't so clearly defined. So my final thought here is to be organised, and work in designated work times, and not let it creep into play time with the kids or the family meal time. We try and have no phones at the dinner table which seems to work well for us at the moment.
I wonder what you would suggest as an idea for using technology well, while maintaining a hold on reality? How do you utilise your digital devices and also stay present in the moment? I'd love to hear your ideas on utilising technology for building your career or business in a way that also benefits your daily real life!