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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do You Need A Tech Detox?


Here’s a common family gathering. Dad’s watching the TV and mom is reading her Kindle on the couch. Blythe, the oldest daughter is texting her boyfriend while sitting next to her little sister who is playing a computer game on her I-pad. Thorne, the middle child and only son is happily playing a game on his handheld gaming device. Is this your family ? Maybe it is time for a TECH DETOX?

Are American’s really this technology oriented and are they really in need of a detoxification?
• Years ago, the behavior we see commonly in our world was called an “addiction.” Now it is normalized behavior
• People text and are becoming disconnected from each other and the skills of communication
• Short sentences and abbreviations are a norm and writing complete sentences, in paragraph form, with a thesis sentence and a conclusion is a lost art.

What types of technology are taking up most of our time?
• November 2010 study showed that 24% of our time is used for social networking
• 10% of our time is used for online gaming
• 7.5% for emailing
• 4% on movies and videos

How do we know if we are in need of a technology detox?

• The Wall Street Journal recently reported some common characteristics to know if you and your relationships are in need of a cleanse. Here are some of the symptoms
1. You can’t get through a meal without checking your email, texting or talking on the phone
2. You sleep with your phone near you and check your emails or text while in bed
3. You have an argument with a loved one about the use of your technology
4. You text while driving OR look at your emails
5. When you are with your family, loved ones or friends you are each looking at different screens.
Do these things fit for you?

Next week we will look at some ways we can do a technology detox – and surprisingly it might be more difficult than any other thing you’ve given up in your life.

Part #2- Technology Detox

Last week we took a hard look at America’s consumption and preoccupation…well, should we almost say “addiction to technology.” This week we will look at some of the ways in which we can break away from our technology and come back to forming & regain our relationships on a face-to -face basis.

Then what can we do to detox or cleanse ourselves and regain connections?
• Plan a time for your detox and give yourself & your family advance warning. Preparation is the key to a successful detox
• Be clear about the rules. What calls can be made and what is forbidden in the cleanse. Decide if any emails or computer use can be utilized during the cleanse ( look at issues such as homework, emergency calls)
• Establish the consequences for cheating or sneaking to use technology.
• Wean yourself off the gadgets. Some people can go “cold turkey,” but you might have greater success giving up a little at a time or just giving up one type of technology (but remember when you give up texting you might find yourself doing more emailing—so is that really a cleanse?)
• Be sure you understand WHY you are doing the cleanse and giving up technology. Try not to give up technology to do something else that is isolating.
• Decide how long you want to do the cleanse. Be realistic in your expectations. Perhaps look at giving up technology for a day or two vs. giving it up for a month
• Inform family and friends and tell them you will be unavailable via technology during your cleanse. You can use technology to announce your detox – and don’t be surprised if others choose to join your efforts.
• Make a plan and think of things you will want to do when you are involved in the cleanse (spend more one on one time with family, play board games with your children, spend time actually have conversations with your loved one)
• Consider doing a permanent “Sabbath Manifesto” or a “Day of Unplugging” which is at sundown on March 4 , 2011/ going for 24 hours. Are you up for the challenge?

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