eNews - December 15, 2015


We’ve all done it. You’re at lunch with the kids and instead of talking to each other and holding a real conversation, you are all on your mobile devices. What if there was a time that families could use to disconnect from tech and spend quality time together?

The holidays are here and it’s time for family get-togethers and parties. This time of the year is perfect for connecting with loved ones, but that means disconnecting from tablets, smartphones, and apps. Some people call it a tech timeout, or just simply taking a break from your devices. By putting your phone or tablet away for a bit, you might just make this holiday one to remember.

Here are a few simple suggestions for families and individuals to take a break from technology this holiday season:

  • Set a Tech Curfew
    • Set time frames for when devices can be used. Establish a time that clearly states when your kids or family need to shut down their devices for the evening. Setting an alarm, reminder, or audible notification on your device is the best way to keep everyone accountable. Click here for a great article on how to set a tech curfew and the benefits that come along with it.

  • Establish a Tech-Free Zone or Time
    • Set up an area of the home where devices are unwelcome. The dinner table, family room, or living room are good examples of tech free zones. A timeframe like 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. is a good example of tech free time. Setting a reminder or using a kitchen timer is a great way to keep the family on track.

  • Host a Tech-Free Party
    • Create a flyer and host an event that clearly states no tech allowed. The party can focus on spending quality time together and building relationships. After all, that is what family and friends are all about! Have guests check their devices in at the door and let them know they can have them when they leave, but provide them with a list of events that will be hosted during the party. Make it fun and engaging, people might actually forget about their social media accounts.
    • Some examples are board games, gift wrap relay, goofy picture photo booth, decorate a person like a tree, and many more. There are several examples on Pinterest.

  • Schedule a Specific Charging Time
    • Plug devices in and charge them all at one time, then head to dinner, lunch or out for a walk without tech. Use this time to talk about what is going in your lives, at school, or at work.

There are extreme cases of tech disconnect, like this group of teenagers that completely shut down devices for three days. Although it made for a good lesson for those students, it may not work in your home. Simply logging off, powering down, and folding up the laptop might just be the best way to enjoy the holidays and family this year.