Put that iPhone down! And 14 other digital resolutions for 2015

By Kelly Wallace | 1/9/2015, 11:52 a.m.
I am one of "those" people who loves the new year, makes resolutions and normally fails to keep up with ...

I am one of "those" people who loves the new year, makes resolutions and normally fails to keep up with most of them by the end of January.

But there is one I might actually be able to stick to this year.

I pledge to not check my email, Twitter and Facebook every time I walk into my kitchen, which is where I leave my not one but two devices (I can't give up a BlackBerry!)

Every time I sneak a quick peek, when I'm making breakfast for my girls or getting dinner ready for my husband and me, I ask myself, "What could possibly be so important that I need to do this right now?"

And I am definitely not alone. Based on what I heard from people on social media and via email, there seems to be a growing need to unplug -- even just a little bit.

Diana Graber, co-founder of CyberWise.org, a digital literacy site for parents, educators and tweens and teens, says the desire to be "in the moment" seems to be getting a lot of traction this year.

"I think we are experiencing a bit of a pendulum swing with a craving for real life re-emerging," said Graber, who teaches "cybercivics" to middle schoolers in Aliso Viejo, California.

No more allowing social media to be her social life, says Tish Howard, a retired elementary school principal in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Before her retirement, her social circle was built around her colleagues with staff baseball games, events and plays.

"Life was full" and then "BAM retirement!" said Howard, who said she started relying too heavily on electronics.

"I realized this year that I needed to personally connect again and not with an iPad," she added. "I have already made three dinner plans, a cruise with an old friend, and began volunteering at a food bank."

Kitty Bradshaw, creator of an online destination covering lifestyle in Los Angeles and New York, says she plans to strengthen her friendships by going offline and "incorporating the retro pen, paper, post office method."

What a concept!

"A few days ago, I mailed out 40 greeting cards with personal messages to friends and asked them to Instagram where they placed the card in their home or office using the hashtag #FriendsofKittyB," she said. "Based on the follow-through and response, I will be able to gauge what relationships need more work than others."

"I want my friends to know they are bigger than a comment or 'like.' We can deal in real time and not hiding behind a smartphone."

From sending cards to putting that iPhone down to reading a book with actual 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 steer clear of her smartphone after 9:30 p.m. "I tend to look at my phone while I'm getting ready for bed and then I go from email to news to Instagram to Facebook to US Weekly to email again and then it's like an hour later and I could have been asleep. My dark eye circles will hopefully get curbed too, ha."