Unplug and unwind: Reconnect with your family

Unplug and unwind: Reconnect with your family

In this age of gadgetry it is virtually impossible to disconnect.


by Amanda Griffin-Jacob

All of a sudden we are plugged in to everything and everyone. I sometimes yearn for the days when people didn’t have their phones attached to them like an extra limb. When people didn’t have earphones permanently worn in their ears. When people actually made conversation without constantly flicking their eyes to check their gadgets.

I read a scary statistic online recently. It said that kids these days are spending up to eight hours per day on electronic devices. This for me is unacceptable. There is more to childhood than computers, phones, and video games. Kids need fresh air and physical activity for their health and development. They also need social interaction with their peers and their family.

Many families these days are not spending enough quality time together because they are too wrapped up in all their devices. It’s not just the children by the way. We, the adults are just as guilty. Now is the time to unplug and reconnect with each other. So what does  this mean? And how do you do that?

Make the commitment and get the whole family to agree that there should be one day per week that is spent OFFLINE. No checking emails, no texting, no Facebook, no instagram, no minecraft, no internet period. You will have to come up with activities that the whole family can enjoy together (try to choose outdoor activities that promote movement and health, or try taking classes together. Good ones include cooking or yoga. Why not try scuba diving? The list of possibilities is endless).

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Try this out for a month and see how everyone feels. “Unplugging” is becoming a bit of a movement because people are realizing that they are letting “real” life pass them by because they are completely submerged by their “online” life.

Being connected all the time has resulted in many unwanted side effects like no work/home boundaries (I can’t tell you how often my husband is on the phone checking emails, that simply “can’t wait). Other effects include stunted social skills (have you ever been at dinners where everyone is on their phones, instagramming or tweeting? I have and they have been boring, very quiet affairs.). Just imagine what it does to our children who are still growing up and developing. Now is not the time to give them gadgets galore. It is a time to nurture you relationships and teach them life lessons (away from the computers and phones).

Going offline gives you time and focus to be with your family. Remember it is only once a week (for a few hours of the day).  I guarantee everyone will learn to enjoy the break from technology to reconnect with each other.

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