We recently took a family trip (all six of us – two teens and four adults) for four glorious days up to the mountains. It became increasing clear to all of us that technology had become a part of everyone’s life. We had six cell phones (Smart phones, Blackberry, and various cellular phones), one Kindle Fire, two iPods, two laptops, and a DVD player. As convenient as it was to have so much technology, it was also a little distracting. We decided to gather the electronics, turn them off, and spend time together since we had all made the effort to travel to a beautiful place and enjoy each other’s company.
What did we do instead?
- Prepared and devoured loads of great food, with every person taking responsibility for planning at least one meal.
- Long walks together in the beautiful surroundings.
- Board games and card games.
- Hobbies of various sorts. Amanda and I worked on a crocheting project. The boys were reading and discussing magazine articles. Mr. B entertained us with his juggling skills. We worked a puzzle together.
Did we spend all our time tech-free? No, but a great portion of our time was spent without the hum, buzz, ring, and screen-time of electronics. No regrets.
We are making tech-free time a new part of our weekly routine now that we are home and back to our regular schedules. I have to admit that even for my husband and I it is difficult to turn it all off. Our teens give us a really hard time about being tied to our electronics. My new Kindle Fire is awesome and it is easy to spend too much time staring at a screen when I still have two interesting fun teens around to enjoy. There is a time and a place for electronics, but there is no replacement for good old family fun for making lasting memories and building up family ties.
Can you go tech-free with your teens for part of the week?
I challenge you.
You are welcome to download and save the printable sign above for your family’s use. I post our sign on the refrigerator on our agreed upon day and then everyone remembers to look forward to Tech-Free Family Night.