Abstinence In Technology: Disconnecting and Going Dark For Dinner

Jun
2015
13

posted by on Internet Addiction, Online Safety, Parenting, Parenting Blogs, Parenting Teens

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DisconnectWe have heard about abstinence when it comes to sex, now it is about disconnecting from your digitally devices and social media.  It’s not easy.

However a parent that was determined to get her family’s offline back gathered some volunteers (with the same mission) and created the Disconnect project.

According to a recent Slate cover story about Disconnect:

“It’s cheered me up for some reason, I don’t know why,” one boy explained in the video. “I feel different. I can concentrate more.”

They read books, talked more with their friends face to face, and did their homework with time to spare.

This project has been very successful in the United Kingdom, maybe it will reach the U.S. eventually…. can our society really turn-off technology for a weekend?

DarkForDinner1Let’s try for one-day!

#DarkForDinner is Sunday, June 14th, but you can designate it for any day or every Sunday.  Make it a time to unplug and get to know your friends and family offline.

It’s about getting to know what they did last week or in general – getting to know more about your family.  Did they meet anyone new, find a new shade of lipstick they liked, maybe a new teacher or substitute that was cool — most importantly, you can talk about how their digitally lives are — offline.

I wrote a couple weeks ago about conversation starters for family meals about social media and digital lives.  Common Sense Media and Family Dinner Project offered a great chart on that blog post, refer back to it for tips.

DarkForDinner2Let’s say you are single and have friends you join on Sundays.  Chances are good your smartphone is attached to you – well, both of you!

Put your devices away – turn it off – and enjoy your friend’s company.  Have  a conversation with them about their week, their life, their family  – whatever…. Take a tech-time-out for your friends.  They will appreciate it as much as you will when they start really listening and hearing what you are saying rather than scrolling down their screen.  Maybe they do have a secret to share – but really want your full attention!

Isn’t it time to really disconnect and connect in real life – at least for one day?

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