5 Reasons to Go on a Technology Fast
My parents were geniuses. While this may sound extreme, we did not watch TV from Monday – Friday and watched only a few hours on the weekends. Video games were limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per day and only if we had read recreationally for 30 minutes beforehand. Yes, this sounds radical, but it was purely brilliant. We spent our free hours playing with friends, doing family activities, pursuing new skills, and going on countless trips together. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
It’s the information age. We are bombarded with facts and figures from dawn til dusk. We simply addicted to technology and media – we can’t leave home without our smartphone or sit at home without the tv or radio bathing us in ideas and information.
I’ll admit – I’m a little too addicted to all this information stimulation. I find myself panicking if I leave home without my smartphone. What will I do if I have to wait somewhere for 5 minutes without something to distract me (heaven forbid)?
I was reminded of the importance of taking a break from the information overload this week. My computer cord went kaput. I was without it for 24 hours. While I felt panicked at first, a few hours later I realized it was so freeing and wonderful to be untethered for a while.
What are the real benefits to taking a break? Let’s take a look at my favorite reasons to cut the cord and get back to the simple things.
- You’ll have extra time in your day. No video games (for the kids), tv, Facebook, Pinterest equals extra minutes in your day. Always complaining about the days being so short? Cutting back on frivolous media could be your answer to more productive days.
- It’s a creativity booster. I was reminded of this fact when recently struggling to complete a story arc I’m working on (my degree is in theater and I try to keep my storytelling skills from getting too dusty). During the 24 hours my computer was out of commission, I had a major breakthrough because my brain was actually given the space it needed to create ideas. This is great for children – they learn through play and if they’re never given the opportunity to create their own ideas, it can be developmentally harmful. Creative kids are usually very successful problem-solvers later in life.
- More time to connect with your kids face-to-face. I’m quite sure I don’t need to elaborate on this one. We’ll all remember the days we spent being with our kids rather than staring at a computer screen obsessing over timelines and pins.
- It’s a brain booster. One reason we love informational media is the fact that we don’t have to think for ourselves. When we cut those cords, our mind cannot go on being an empty vacuum, it’s forced to work for itself, remember things (sorry, Siri, it’s good for us to try to do your job sometimes) and create solve problems. Our brains are like muscles – if they don’t have to work out regularly, they won’t be in the best of shape when put to the test.
- Time for reflection. This is something we rarely do in American society. Sit and think. However, it’s necessary and healthy for our sanity and well being. This is a great skill for children to learn to combat the stimulation overload they so often face. Even just 30 minutes a day does wonders.
I’d love to hear how your family handles technology and your favorite ways to keep the habits in check. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Hannah Camacho is an educator, mom to three wonderful children ages 3 and younger and proud wife of an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran. She is the founder of MyAppinions.com and TheAppNanny.com. When she’s not chasing her three busy little ones, she does freelance work for application developers as a mobile app marketing and pr specialist.