Tech Free Sunday
This blog was first published on the 14th July 2014 here.
We’ve been experimenting at home with the idea of taking a day off from technology for one day a week – how hard can it be?
Some context – I have four children aged fifteen, twelve, ten & four (boy, boy, girl, boy). My eldest and I take it in turns to be ‘most addicted to technology’ – but recently he started to edge past me on the league table.
So we decided six weeks ago that Sundays were to be internet,computer, tablet, phone and game console free. We still have the radio, and we still have TV – but that’s as far as it goes.
Week 1 – definite withdrawal symptoms, increased levels of grumpiness, especially from my eldest and youngest son (and myself to be honest) forat least two hours – which then resulted in them all pitching a tent in the garden and then sleeping in it for most of the following week. iPhone withdrawal hardest for me.
Week 2 – arguments the night before about whether to try it again ended with my Wife and I pointing out that the reason we were banning technology was precisely because of this level of addiction. On the day – much excitement at having a Nerf war which lasted three hours in a nearby park. Still missing my iPhone.
Week 3 – slight improvement, although new tactic from two children insisting that computers were needed for homework. Internet opened up with a warning that next week they better get their work done on Saturday.
Week 4 – Acceptance that the rules were not about to change – homework done ahead of time. Much walking with dog, and then National Trust visiting for early evening picnic. Well picnic is too grand a word – more like loads of scones with jam and cream 🙂
Week 5 – Day spent cycling. All day. With breaks for the pub.
Week 6 – Yesterday spent predominantly with Frisbee and radio, before settling down for the world cup final, and yes, we let the eldest three stay up and watch it because we’re bad parents. Expecting lots of yawning at school today.
So we’re carrying on with it. We have a better day for the break, together as a family for the most part. Everyone is less selfish about what they do – rather than retreating into their own world, we all find things to do together – and the world does not stop turning because we cannot use email, or look at the BBC news site, or send texts, or play Minecraft……
The corporate part of this blog, the part that ties this to engagement and culture? We keep doing new things. If you take some time away from the tech and let your brain work properly, you may find some more innovation creeping into your workplace. Live in the moment, connect, look up…….
But why not give it a go at home too? It’s not easy, but for us it was certainly worth the initial pain.