WHAT IS TECH TIMEOUT?
The Tech TimeoutTM challenge started by Foresters encourages families to take a daily break from technology. Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all things electronic with the goal of helping spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.
We’ve taken the Pledge to take a Tech Timeout for at least an hour a day. You can take the pledge, too, and find inspiration and helpful hints for how to make the best of your timeout here. I’ve also included a great list below.
Why We Need a Tech Timeout
Like it or not, I have a teenager in high school, a tween in middle school and a kid in elementary school. The first is an Xbox addict, the second a Kindle finatic and the third, a Minecraft junkie. All are great at giving one or two word answers when asked about their day and occassionally grunting out an “I’m hungry” before jumping into a full-on electronics binge.
And, the truth is… I only get them for a little while. The mommy clock is ticking and each second is so very precious! Because I work in social media for a living, blogging, managing businesses social media accounts, etc., I know that I don’t always set the best example for breaking away from technology. I sit in my office surrounded by two laptops, each attached to monitors and keyboards and mice and speakers and still find myself simultaneously checking my iPhone for emails, Facebook, tweeting, texting…
This year my Middle and High schoolers registered electronics for use at school. When used appropriately, the’ve been recognized by the schools as learning devices. This used to be a guaranteed six hours away from kindles and iPhones for my kids. And, while I get it and in many ways support it, I wonder more and more about how we all are using technology. Why do we use technology? To save time, to stay connected?
But, what happens when we are becoming so disconnected because we use three letter LOL’s and OMG’s to express ourselves. We hide behind text messages rather than speaking face to face. We miss out on moments of excitement, funny scenes in the background because are eyes are glued to these devices that keep us connected, save us time, make us who we are. Wait! Make us who we are? NO! We are people- not robots and machines. Isn’t it time that we get back to that?
Taking the Tech Timeout Pledge
Yesterday, the beginning of my own personal Tech Timeout, I took more than an hour. I actually unplugged and did something for my body- a good long nap. I know it wasn’t the most exciting thing to do with my technology free time but I needed it and if you know me, you know how hard it is to walk away from the computers and iPhone and just stop working! I plan to print out this pledge form below and introduce the idea to the kids tomorrow morning. They also had a good break from technology, the oldest two played in a bouncy house at their cousin’s birthday party, the youngest went to dinner with his grandparents.
My technology timeout later, once the kids are home from school, will likely have a lot to do with helping my daughter clean her room. And, then, perhaps we’ll play a family game this evening.
On Saturdays, I have always tried to really be away from technology and participate fully with my family on some outing. I’m going to take that a step further and turn off my phone. I’m going to use a camera to capture photos and upload them to my computer for sharing later or on another day. No more live tweeting and Facebooking those Saturday afternoon activities. I’m going to pass my camera around so that others can capture memories and what is special to them during these special days.
I do believe apple picking is on the agenda for this weekend! Our favorite fair also kicks off on Sunday! Perhaps, this too, will serve as a tech free day. No phones, no kindles- just family, fun, laughter and lots and lots of love!