By Kelly wallace
Editor’s note: Kelly Wallace is CNN’s digital correspondent and editor covering family, career and life issues. Read his other columns on digital life and follow his reports on CNN Parents and on Twitter.
(CNN) – I’m one of “those” people who loves New Years, makes resolutions, and usually can’t keep up with them by the end of January.
But this is a purpose that he could keep this year.
I made it a point not to check my email, Twitter, and Facebook every time I walk into my kitchen, which is where I leave not just one but two devices (I can’t put down my BlackBerry!).
Every time I take a quick look, when I make breakfast for my daughters or make dinner for myself and my husband, I ask myself, “What could possibly be so important that I need to do this now?”
And I am definitely not alone. Based on what I’ve heard from people on social media and via email, there seems to be a growing need to disconnect; even a little.
Diana Graber, co-founder of CyberWise.org, a digital literacy site for parents, teachers, tweens, and teens, says the desire to be “in the moment” seems to get a lot of attention this year.
“I think we go through a little bit of change with a desire to resurface in real life,” said Graber, who teaches “cyber-civics” to high school students in Aliso Viejo, California, United States.
From sending cards to putting down that iPhone and reading a book with real pages, here are 14 digital resolutions for 2015.
1. iPhone curfew
Kathy Beymer, founder of the craft site, Merriment Design, is going to try to walk away from her smartphone after 9:30 PM. “I tend to look at my phone as I get ready for bed and then it went from mail to news to Instagram to Facebook to US Weekly to mail again and it goes by like an hour and I could have been asleep by now. I hope that the dark circles of the eyes also stop being there, ha.
2. Goodbye to Filofax
Diane Smith, a television journalist and Emmy-winning author, says the time has come for her entire calendar to go digital. “How did I come to this conclusion? Because all three stores you could count on to provide Filofax parts are bankrupt? What does that tell you?
3. A less cynical approach to social media
Blogger Buzz Bishop says he tries to take a more positive and less cynical approach to his social media posts. “Those random passive comments about everyday life don’t need to be there,” he said. Try to live your life a little longer like astronaut Chris Hadfield, who said, “The easiest thing in the world is to be cynical … optimism takes a little more effort.”
4. Save emails for the office
Chelsey Saatkamp, a New York publicist, says she tries not to check emails until she gets to work. “When it’s the first thing you see when you wake up, it really just starts your day off with unnecessary stress. I have enough of that in the office; morning should be ‘me time’ ”.
5. Read books; real books
Reading more books, “like physical books, really” is a goal for Brian Gresko this year. “The screens are so addictive, and sometimes I will have tired eyes at the end of the day and will still find myself switching on Netflix to relax or lying in bed looking at my phone. I want to tune out with a good old-fashioned book! ”Said Gresko, editor of a parenting anthology called When I First Held You.
6. Stop doing many things and be with the cell phone
Alison Bucalo, a mother of two in Ridgewood, NJ, says she and her husband spend too much time on their iPhones. “I noticed that we were both texting, tweeting, and were on Facebook when we watched TV. I feel like we are wasting time with each other and with the children. (The truth: he is worse than me) ”.
7. Take control of devices
“I deleted all the kiddie games from my iPad and my phone,” said Jess Dukes, a writer and mother of two in Brooklyn, New York. “They have LeapPads, two televisions, hundreds of books, and even more toys. computer for school things. I got my devices back! “
8. Stop sleeping with the phone
Well, maybe not exactly sleeping with this one, but a lot of us have it on our bedside table! Last year, Serena Kappes, a mother of two and a digital editor, started leaving her phone in the living room instead of on the side of her bed when she went to sleep and promised to keep that in 2015. “That way I’m not tempted to stay stuck on social media instead of going to sleep or checking my email when I wake up. It has made a world of difference ”.
9. Limit time on Facebook
Sheila McCraith, author of Yell Less, Love More, says she will try to reduce the amount of time she spends on Facebook. “I learned that content often triggers a bad mood, which then, of course, triggers a great desire to yell at my kids for things of no consequence.”
10. Tell the children why you need the phone
Julie Cole, a mother of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels, plans to keep talking to her children about when and why she needs to use her phone. “For example, if I go to my children’s hockey or soccer game, I say on the way that I will need to answer two emails and make a call during that time. If the child turns around and I am looking at my phone, he will understand why. Then I stick with this, ”Cole said. “Communication is key.”
11. Change the technology from “enemy” to “friend-enemy”
Vincent O’Keefe, a writer and parent at home, said he set out to change his negative view of the impact of technology on children. “Now that my preteen and teen daughters and I have started to navigate devices and social media together, I realize there are advantages to using them,” O’Keefe said. “I hope to change my default view of technology from enemy to friend; or at least ‘friend-foe’, as the children would say ”.
12. Leave the phone at home
Lauren Hiznay, who works in media in New York, spent New Year’s Eve without her phone. “I was amazed how many people were saying, ‘literally, how can you function?'” He said. “Worked well. It would be nice to do a longer season of this this year ”.
13. Keep your inbox under control
Janis Brett Elspas, founder of Mommy Blog Expert, says this is the year to finally conquer email overload. “As a busy lifestyle blogger, I get 3,000 emails a day and that number just keeps increasing. In fact, right now, I have 22,000 unopened emails in my inbox, so my goal for 2015 is to empty my inbox by the end of each day. “
14. Take into account “kindness”
Sue Scheff, a parenting advocate, author, and passionate follower of digital lifestyle trends and research, said 2014 was filled with studies and articles on how kindness was left behind for all ages online. This year, he said he is noticing a change; people say on Twitter and Facebook that they want to make sure that at least once a day they say something nice to a complete stranger or even someone they care about.
“Start living your words of kindness instead of just talking about it,” Scheff said. “Tweet a quote to someone, make someone’s day … Use your typing for kindness.”