My family is like every other family in America — desperately trying to stay connected and enjoy meaningful moments together all while living in the most technical, gadget-heavy era in our world’s history.
This week, I asked you to unplug.
I think I heard your screams through my computer. I felt them in my bones.
Because I know. I get it.
It’s not easy. We’ve become reliant upon our online social connections as our social time, as our downtime, as our learning time.
So what is a busy family to do? How can we stay awake and be thoughtful about our technology use?
First, let me tell you that we’re pretty good at our house with not over-using technology — possibly because for a long time we didn’t have any! I’ve been fully aware of how detrimental it can be for years. In fact, it was the very first description of this blog when I first began in November 2011. A good look around at how people wait anywhere, for anything, just staring at their phones instead of talking to each other or looking up and making eye contact has to be damaging our society.
And, even though I am now more plugged in than ever in my life as a business owner, our family technology rules are still pretty strict. Our girls are not allowed to watch television on school days. They never watch before bedtime. They can watch a a good bit on the weekends. They can earn 15 minutes of computer time if they’ve done their chores and homework.
And, I’ve written about this topic in many ways from 25 Ways to Just Be with Your Children and Creative Ways to Break a TV Habit. In fact, unplugging from technology and connecting to those we love is an underlying theme in just about every single post. It’s that important to me.
And, I have my own strict rule: Don’t let the kids see me on my phone or computer. Until recently that rule really worked. It kept me disciplined so I never overused technology in front of my children. But the fact of the matter is that I have an online business to run now and I, too, find that I am struggling with the balance of it all. So, you’ll see me disappear on Saturdays, for the most part, and most of the day on Sundays as well.
Doing all of this allows me to encourage life as a Playful Family.
Now, I’m experimenting with something else — a Family Tech Hour on the weekends and days off from school.
One hour. You each choose how to spend it. We all numb out on our screen-time and then we’re done. Time’s up. Move on. Get outside. Get fresh air. Do something creative. Be active in YOUR life.
All is good in the world.
Once this happens, the next step is to figure out what to do next.
I got that covered. Go on and get playful!
And, for goodness sake, play often.
Question of the Day: Are you feeling the technology squeeze at home — always feeling like you have to choose between your online life and your real family life? What is working? What is not working? How much does technology impact your playfulness?
PHOTO CREDIT: futurestreet via Flickr