It’s nearing the end of January, so you’ve probably perused your fair share of articles on New Year’s resolutions. But what about digital resolutions? In a society where this is such a big focus, did you stop to consider your digital habits? All I’m saying is that it deserves a moment, as I took when I saw a CNN article on the topic. Here are my digital resolutions for 2015:

One device at a time

I have this terrible habit. I don’t watch a lot of television, but when I do and the ads come on, I immediately reach for my phone. It’s like a spontaneous, uncontrollable reaction, and it makes me somewhat angry with myself. At what point did I need at least two forms of entertainment at the same time? And to be honest it kind of hurts my head – I don’t get a complete TV watching experience or a complete Facebook / Instagram / email experience – both are somewhat disjointed. No need to be greedy with technology, Tamara.

Life goes on… without instant Facebook / email notifications on my phone

One thing I never did was opt for instant Facebook and email alerts on my phone, and boy, am I glad. To be honest, there’s enough happening with messages and calls without the extra distractions, and it also means that I don’t feel the need to address non-urgent things on the spot. Plus, there’s a certain thrill that comes with opening up your social media and seeing a bunch of notifications rather than dealing with them one at a time.

Silent night

There’s plenty of research to show that devices nearby while you sleep isn’t great – they emit waves which reduce the quality of sleep, and staring at a screen right before bed makes it harder to drop off. To be honest, I’ll probably always have my phone nearby while I sleep (it’s my alarm clock!). But I do want to start putting it on silent while I sleep.  After all, who would have thought that I’d be willing to sacrifice my much-loved sleep for the desire to always be instantly updated?!

Power hour

I might be old-fashioned, but I like to think that I have power over the technology use, and that it does not have power over me. To exert said power, I have started to keep my phone on silent mode and turned over while at work, and I only check it on the hour and reply then if necessary. And to be honest, I focus much better on the task at hand if I’m not replying or reacting to something every five minutes.

Available offline

If there’s one thing that isn’t fun, it’s when I organise to meet up and spend time with someone, and they’re more interested in their phone than me. I may as well go home and text them if I want their full attention! So when I socialise, I plan to keep my phone in my bag and focus on the people in front of me. That’s the least respect I can give them. 

Keep things intentional

To be fair, I don’t post a whole lot on social media. But when I do, I want to be intentional about it. I never want to be that person who posts at 15-minute intervals or who shares everything from the rumblings of their stomach to the secrets of their friends. So I’ll ask myself – why am I posting this? Am I after attention or glory? Or am I sharing something good, informative or uplifting? I’d much prefer to be posting in the latter category.

Accentuate the positives

I’ll admit it – as much as I love social media and what it can do, I do tend to hark on about its dangers and negatives. Maybe because people talk consider them less and so too often lose their power over it? Either way, I’m going to make more effort to enjoy the good aspects this year. It is a wonderful means of communicating, connecting and sharing, after all!

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.