When the Whole Family Is Staring at Screens, Time to Try a Tech Detox
By Oregon Family Council
The Wall Street Journal in a recent article by Elizabeth Bernstein addresses the issue of technology, social networking and its impact on family life and then describes the need and benefits that come from going tech-free. The article used the Broadnax family as an example of a modern tech-obsessed household. Ms. Broadnax described their evenings as each individual going to their own screen, whether it was watching cartoons, using Facebook, emailing, or watching a movie, each activity was completely independent from one another. She then described the horrific reality that, “days were going by and we weren’t talking”. The last thing that anyone would expect to come from their own household of people living under the same roof would be a lack of communication. But sadly most families are giving into the technology craze and are resorting to Facebook, texting, and Twitter to keep in touch with their own children or spouse.
In the article, Ms. Broadnax became fed up with the road her family was down and called for a household tech detox. As anyone can imagine this was not easy for neither the children or for the adults. It felt more like punishment than a method of relaxing and spending more time together. But in the end it forced their family to interact together such as playing board games, and to participate in activities that most children and adults have forgotten about over the years, such as reading books, playing with toys, or cooking.
If you feel that your family could benefit from taking a vacation from their own gadgets try a few of these tips. Begin by taking baby steps, like any drastic diet it requires gradually building up a routine, for example instead of cutting out all electronics from the get-go, allow an hour of TV or computer a night before cutting out all technology completely. And it is equally important to not allow the family to go back to old habits as soon as the cleanse is finished, but to set a new standard that focuses on family first. By changing the focal point from media, networking, and technology we can start to bring back traditional values and priorities to our American households to create healthy relationships.
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