On January 31, my husband and I had a wonderful idea – no tech for the whole family for the month of February. The reasons? We felt so disconnected from each other and from the kids. We also really felt like the kids needed a detox from screen time.
There were a few exceptions, which we figured out a little as we went. Obviously, my husband and I both need to be online for work so we were off the hook for a few hours each day. And we do feel it’s important to stay in touch with friends and family so whatever apps we use for that were also allowed, as long as it didn’t interfere with our own family time. But for the most part, our time at home outside of work and school hours was spent off our phones, laptops, tablets, and yes, gaming systems! This was not a half-hearted attempt, this was an all-inclusive tech detox for the whole family.
As luck would have it, this month was also the one with record low temps for our area. And due to school holidays and extreme cold, the month with two weeks off school. It has also been the month that my dad ended up in the hospital 3 hours away so I was gone for 3 days. All this to say… we did not stick to the tech detox plan. We did, however, stick to it for 16 days and I’m proud of us. We connected more, lingered around the dinner table longer, watched the kids get creative as they detoxed from their gaming habits. More lego was built, more piano music was played, more art was created.
And while the experiment was so good for all of us, it was also good for me – as an “all-or-nothing” perfectionist – to realize that it’s ok to be flexible and change the rules from time to time. We didn’t plan for minus
I actually feel like our tech detox was successful. We discovered that it’s possible and not at all crazy to do at least 2 weeks. We also discovered that another warmer month – let’s say May? – would be a better option. And while we’re still trying to find the balance of playing on screens but not too much, I’m grateful for the opportunities we have to play with our kids through so many different mediums.
Have you ever tried an extended tech detox for your family? How did it work out, and what did you notice, positive or negative, about the experience? Share in the comments!