The Sunday Salon

It is Saturday afternoon in my little area of the world. The temperature is 88. Clear sky, bright, and sunny. No rain over the past several days.

My husband is working. With the exception of a visit with my son Paul and his family who came over in the late morning for a brief visit. It is a quiet and restful day.

Everyone in the family is well and adjusting to the new school year.


I’ve thought a little about simple living or living a simple life that I’d written about in last Sunday’s Salon.

My first thought in reference to simple living is having less distractions.

Distraction means to draw away the mind and attention to another direction. To draw in conflicting direction; create conflict or confusion.

When I think about the greatest distraction in my life it is the iPhone, iPad, laptop, television, and social media.

I’ve asked a few questions:

  1. How often do notification alerts sound?
  2. How often do I look at these devices?
  3. What can I do to make changes?

At least with the television I turn it on and off and there are no notification alerts to draw away my attention.

Back in the day when people only had a landline with a corded telephone, few calls were telemarketers or strangers, most were people we knew.

While reading or doing art, my attention is drawn away from what I’m working on because of a notification alert sound. I’m hesitant to keep the phone on no sound because what if I get an important call or text.

If I am sitting, then I am looking at a gadget like iPhone or iPad.

Why do I always need some kind of stimulation?

Is it possible to sit for 15 minutes and relax without a tech gadget nearby?

There is great pleasure gained from being able to sit, relax, and take a deep breath.

Somewhere along the way I have forgotten how to relax.

Is the checking of phones, tablets, and scrolling through social media a form of escape?

If asked, can we name the things we want to escape from? It is going to be a long list.

To an extent we read and take vacation and do other hobbies and activities that help us, and in an enjoyable way, to escape from the stresses of life. But when the escape takes us away from engaging with people and life overall, that is a problem. Because essentially, we are checking out.

A favorite memory of mine is my parents went for a 30-minute walk after supper every night. Then they sat in a porch swing together. They’d have conversations about their children, church, dad’s job, other family, friends, neighbors, and current world events. But sometimes they were silent. sitting beside one another, shoulder to shoulder, swinging in unison and unity.

My answer for this topic is to have boundaries. I have implemented some boundaries. Simple things. For example, no social media on my phone or pad except Pinterest. I only look at Pinterest before bed. I have a planned and timed spot in the day where I sit and do nothing. I set the owl kitchen timer for 15 minutes. During that time, I take deep breathes, lay my head back, and relax. On purpose, I leave my phone in another room. The downside of that is I forget where I placed that darn phone.

Are techie gadgets and social media taking us too far away from not dealing with the stresses of life and community?

The Sunday Salon is hosted by Readerbuzz.


10 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon

  1. I usually keep the sound off on my phone unless I’m on the clock for work (since part of my job is to be available by phone at the drop of a hat). It really is distracting. Sometimes I will leave my phone in the other room on purpose just so I’m not tempted to stop and look at it constantly to check for e-mails, texts or new messages. Boundaries are good.

    I hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good thoughts. Personally, I have most alerts turned off. Only a couple of apps are allowed to send me notifications. I don’t get that many calls or texts, so that’s not an issue for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The ONLY thing I use the notifications for is texts. And if I’m doing something else, I usually don’t check the text. If I do look, I always pretend it might be important – ha! – it never is. I’ve curtailed my TV dramatically and instead of 3-4 hours every night, I watch maybe 3-4 hours/week. However, I replaced it with computer time – blogging, art, photo sorting, etc. At least it feels productive. 🙂 I’m not good at relaxing either – at least what is normally considered relaxing, as in doing nothing. Just not in my DNA, so I gave up worrying about it years ago. My relaxing is reading. My relaxing is sketching. I guess it’s all in how you define relaxing. 🙂 Interesting topic to introduce. It sure got me going!
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It helped me a lot to find a way to silence spam and sales calls on my phone. Periodically, I go through and get off email lists I (somehow) subscribed to. I sometimes set my devices in another room for a refreshing break. Still, I have to be close for my 95-year-old dad who lives independently, so I can’t be away from alerts for too long.

    I love your memory of your parents spending time together in the evening. That’s lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My husband and I have talked about how life changed after the Internet was availble. We used to read the paper together, swapping sections, walk and talk, read….
    In the evenings I will check my phone for a bit and then grab a magazine. A real magazine usually from the library discards as they are phasing them out. I look over reacipes for craft articles. Easier on my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I spend a lot of time on my phone, especially with my blog being on there and some of my books. I try not to scroll all the time, but it is just habit a lot of the time. I do however still forget my phone when I go out or if my partner has his phone then I don’t always bother, then get upset when I want to take a picture and have to use his phone!

    Have a great week ahead!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
    My post:

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are all so important reflections and questions.
    I have always had notifications off – except for txt messages – and I don’t get tons.
    I read a book last month that made me suddenly aware of the huge amount of energy with our online activity. I was shocked, it was a major eye-opener. So I have dramatically cut down on twitter and Instagram.
    My review of that book s here:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In college I read a book called “Technopoly” by Neil Postman that made me think long and hard about the way technology, which is intended to be a tool, can instead begin warping human lives around its use. I resisted getting a smartphone for a long time because of that — buying my first one in 2018! — and have since then persisted in trying to evade its tendency to make us compulsive consumers. The only app allowed to send me notifications is my Messages app, and I keep the sound turned off almost all of the time. I also don’t keep apps that tend to be addictive (facebook, twitter, reddit) on the phone. If I do access those on the phone it’s via the browser, and the extra step and stripped-down experience go a long way in reducing the ‘itch’. You might be interested in reading “How to Break Up With Your Phone”, by Catherine Price.

    Liked by 1 person

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