Tweet, Text, DVR, Bluetooth, Insta Story, Snapchat, YouTube video, etc.
We live in such a technologically driven world. I mean I left my phone at home the other day and thought I was going to go crazy not having it near me for a whole 8 hours. Our society is more connected yet disconnected than I can ever remember.
During March 1st-2nd, my family participated in the National Day of Unplugging. We worked hard to intentionally practice being connected face to face rather than distracted by all the pop-ups, messages, reminders, etc. that inundate our lives.
In advance to our day of unplugging I spent some time looking through the National Day of Unplugging Website. It is an excellent resource of information and even has a pledge that families can sign. On their main page, they had a quote that has just been playing on repeat through my mind and is the motivation behind my family unplugging.
Even after this national celebration of unplugging I encourage you to join to make this a regular part of your routine. Now some of you, like I was, may be asking, “so what do we do?” Well, you are in luck, here are 10 things (in no particular order) to add to your bucket list for your own family’s Day of Unplugging!
Ten Unplugged Activities for Families:
1. Play a Board Game or Better Yet Create Your Own Game
2. Visit One of Our Fabulous Libraries and Promote Family Literacy
3. Take a Family Hike & Pack a Picnic, Ride Some Bikes, Be Active or Plan a Family Camping Trip
4. Visit a Museum in Downtown Raleigh or Durham
5. Plan a Science Experiment for the Family (STEM Education is where it is at! Check out ABC11 Science Club with BASF for some cool experiments all ages will enjoy.)
6. Plan a Family Meal where Everyone Participates by Sharing Their Favorite Foods
7. Host a Neighborhood Party (your family doesn’t have to be the only ones involved)
8. Participate in a Community Service Project (a recycling drive, closet clean out for donations, serving at a food bank, visit an assisted living facility, etc.)
9. Put a Puzzle Together (one of my personal favorites)
10. Create ____________ (you fill in the blank: art, music, etc.—-there is so much depth to teaching your kids to create)
My hope as a mother is that I never look back and the memories that I have are digitally stored rather than personally invested. I want to be a person who can sit and look someone in the eye carrying on a conversation. I want to see life more than a puppy dog filter or getting the right selfie angle.
Because of this, I am invested in the practice of unplugging with my family but also lessening my digital footprint. My family committed to participating in the National Day of Unplugging but is also making the commitment for one evening a week to be disconnected from the cyberspace and connected to one another.
***A quick tip that I have been using lately is the screen time controls on my Phone and various Social Media outlets. In one of the updates for the iPhone (sorry I am not sure about other phone carriers), there is a control called Screen Time. It allows for you to intentionally set controls, downtime, restrictions, etc. It gives you a visual, color-coded number to show you how much time you are connected to your screen. You can even set it for your kids’ phones as well. Mom Tip: Instagram has also set up for you to limit the amount of time and set a notification when you have reached that limit.***