Are you getting fed up with the ubiquitous smart phones, tablets, iPads?? How about the endless selfies, photos of food before it’s consumed?? March 6-7 is collectively named as National Day of Unplugging. Yes, that means all of those devices can have a much needed break not to mention our poor thumbs!! Not sure if you want to participate?? I would recommend it for the following reasons.

Texting is bad for your posture. You’ve seen those images of the evolution of the “texter’s neck”. Well, it all started with texter’s thumbs – tendinitis caused by excessive keyboard use. Now, most people don’t use their computer as much as their tablet or smart phone. As a result, people are complaining of headaches. It’s no wonder when you consider that the human head weighs 8 lbs!!

I have forgotten what my family looks like. Don’t remember the eye color of your spouse? Or how tall your child is? It’s time to reconnect in real time with real people. Decide on some fun, simple enjoyable activities to do together. Some possibilities could be a walk in nature, playing sports at the local rec centre, pull out those board games, watch a family DVD, cook a meal/dessert….ask everyone what they would like to do including the brooding teen(s).

Empathy level needs a boost. Studies are showing some alarming statistics on the correlation of screen time and levels of empathy. The more we are attached to the screen the less we are aware of how our actions affect others. This has serious implications for children and adults, alike. We need to recover our sense of common humanity. Too many people have been deeply hurt by the callous, cruel posts of others. So unplugging will help us to see the humans right in front of us whether they live in our home or are encountered in public.

It’s good for my kids to be bored. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually good to be bored in order to ignite our imaginations. It’s not the job of parents to keep their children continuously entertained. The children will overcome the discomfort and will actually find some pretty interesting things to do in spite of their initial reaction.
Let’s learn how to have a conversation again. Interacting with real people means having a meaningful conversation rather than sound bites or 140 character messages in strange hieroglyphics called text acronyms. Think up a list of compelling conversation starters. Turn the DVD player off in the vehicle, too. These conversations aren’t just for mealtime but out and about time in the vehicle.

Let me know how you managed. I’m going to join in as I think I’m developing the early symptoms of smartphone addiction. My family would certainly agree!! So the National Day of Unplugging is a great opportunity to renew & rejuvenate. Think of it as a digital de-tox.

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