I was just having a conversation with a co-worker today about the difference in how we were entertained as kids and how kids today are entertained. When I was young we were outside from morning to night running, making forts, riding bikes, playing on slip and slides, and splashing in the pool. These days I drive through the neighborhood and see no kids outside. This is because they are all inside playing video games. I limit how long my kids are allowed to play but I feel bad when they run out of time and there are no kids to play with.
Video games seem to be the new way to interact and play together since kids play on “live”. If it is not a video game they are playing it is watching videos on the computer, playing the newest game on their iPads, or texting friends on their phone. I’m not going to sit here and say my children are the only tech addicts. My husband will tell you I’m just as bad. If I leave work in the morning without my phone I have to turn around to go back and get it. Not so much because I want people to be able to contact me, but because I use it for my email, entertainment, directions, etc. I just feel lost without it.
A Normal Sight in the Shibley Household
Recently the family and I were on a “forced” tech timeout (for the most part). When we went on our Carnival Cruise, due to the international charges, I made everyone turn off their phones, or put them on airplane mode. The phones pretty much sat on the desk except at night time when my son used his to listen to music. I was a little disappointed that our cabin had a TV I was really hoping for a full blown no TV, computer, iPhone, iPad vacation. However I admit the TV came in handy when hubby and I wanted to go out a little on our own.
Our Tech Timeout
One thing I realized with no access to email or the internet was, it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it was going to be. Though hubby and I went through a little Candy Crush withdrawal we made it through with no scars. It also made me think that this is something we need to do more often, so I suggested to the family a Tech Timeout.
The Tech TimeoutTM challenge started by ForestersTM encourages families to take a daily break from technology. Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all things electronic with the goal of helping spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.
I think this is a brilliant idea and something these days that is much needed in families that spend so much time on phones, computers, and in front of the TV. Did you know the average U.S. teen sends 60 texts per day? (check out the statistics) I remember when I had to switch to unlimited texting, this figure is probably low from the looks of my bill! The boys were not totally “thrilled” with the Tech Timeout but Honey was excited. She may love her iPad but she also loves spending time playing board games or playing badminton outside with the family (yep we have a badminton net in our yard). Sometimes as adults we need a little reminder to create true family time.
We went bowling on the weekend, played card games, board games, and even another fun game of bingo. Honey and I baked some brownies while hubby played football outside with the boys. We enjoyed a friendly badminton competition and really enjoyed each other’s company. I will admit there is no way we can get rid of our technology but it is nice to unplug for a while.
Time for a Tech Timeout
Does anything in this video hit home for you?
Tech Timeout Pledge
I’m challenging you to try a Tech Timeout for one week by taking a pledge. You will turn off all electronic devices for at least one hour a day for the next week. You can take the pledge by visiting Tech Timeout and theOr printing out this pledge below.
Click to enlarge and print
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. You may read more of my disclosure.