Time out: Noun: a pause from doing something (as work); “we took a 10-minute break”; “he took time out to recuperate.” respite, break, recess; pause – temporary inactivity.
There’s been a lot of talk on my Twitter and Facebook timelines about having some technology free time. A regular period of time where we are screen free; all technological gadgets and equipment turned off. It comes at an interesting time for me, as this weekend has seen several discussions between my husband and I about how much time we are spending on our phones and iPads. On Saturday I witnessed both of boys climbing up their father’s legs whilst he looked up something on the internet on his phone. I saw my daughter roll her eyes again as I picked up the iPad just to have a peek at Twitter. I saw us through my children eyes, and it did not make me feel good.
Social networking, the internet, the television and more are all available 24 hours a day seven days a week and unless we switch them off they will not be silenced. We went out as a family to enjoy the sunshine yesterday morning and as I wondered around Victoria Park in Bath I observed a ridiculous number of parents looking at their phones whilst their children played and called out to them to ‘look’ and see what they were doing; and often when the parents did look it was through the lens of their phone’s camera – including me.
Photos are extremely important, I love having an in depth record of my children’s lives so far – but I must admit I don’t sit and pour through photos of my childhood – everything is firmly imprinted in my mind, And I’d like the same to be true of remembering my children.
And what are we afraid of if we put our phones down? Missing an important call? Missing a mention or a tweet? Missing having access to the news and weather? Would it really harm us if we weren’t so accessible? If we switched off, zoned out and focused on what was happening right in front of our very eyes? Those messages will still be there hours later, but what is happening then and there will not.
I think that the thought of turning off our electronic devices panics many. But for my family, panic or not, it has become a necessity for us. We need to switch off. It’s all too easy to escape into a different world and shut out the real one. My children are growing up painfully quickly and I don’t want to miss a second. They deserve our time, our energy, our devotion…at all times!
So starting this week we are going to have technology time out. Daily from after school until the children go to bed. Then also at the weekend; phones and iPads will be switched off and put away. And family time will be family time. I think it may be quite refreshing…I’ll let you know how it goes!
What about you, do you think we all rely on technology too much and miss the world around us at times?