Have you ever heard of a technology fast? This is when you take a break from different forms of technology (usually including social media, television, video games, texting, etc.) for a set amount of time. If you include your whole family it can be a great way to bond and unplug for a little while, in a world where most of us are so often staring at screens instead of truly interacting with each other. If this sounds appealing to you, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Decide on a Realistic Time Frame
While going totally unplugged for a whole week may be a lofty goal, it’s also pretty unrealistic for most modern families. Instead, decide on a realistic time frame for your first technology fast. It may be just for Friday evening after everyone gets through their work and school week, all day on Sunday (which corresponds to the idea of Sabbath, or a day of rest, for many religious families), or the whole weekend with a couple of pre-planned breaks to check messages.
Don’t Be Overly Rigid
A technology fast doesn’t have to be a black and white ordeal. If you cave and check your texts a couple times, or catch the kids sneaking onto their tablets for a few minutes, don’t freak out. As long as the overall goal of being less plugged in and more in the moment with your family is achieved, your technology fast is a success.
Present the Idea to Your Spouse and Kids
Don’t expect your family (especially your kids) to love the idea at first. In fact, they may protest and find the idea of being cut off from technology unthinkable. Be sure to present the technology fast as a positive, fun experience you will share and an opportunity to do fun things together as a family without the distraction of technology.
Plan Fun Low-Tech Activities
The key to a technology fast is making the most of your technology-free time with fun activities. This can be a great time to go hiking, have a picnic lunch at a local lake, play board games, cook meals together, read books, or even go camping.
Decide to Do it Again!
If your technology fast leaves you and your family feeling calm and recharged, go ahead and start planning your next one. Whether this is something you do once a week or less frequently is totally up to you.
Have you ever tried a technology fast, either alone or with your family? How did it go? Let us know in the comments.