I remember the days when I used to have to actually wait. I'd be sitting between classes, on the subway, at an appointment and occupy myself by looking around, daydreaming or sometimes reading a book.
The way we wait has changed. You just have to look around to notice, having such accessible tech impairs our ability to just be. Instead of staying in the moment while we're waiting for the subway, a friend to show up or even our apps at dinner, we whip out our smartphones to check emails or scroll Instagram. Our phones are used for work, play, and downtime.
When I noticed over the school break that my children were carrying their iPads around with them, they way I was carrying my iPhone, I knew we needed a family digital detox. We could use some space to become more conscientious, healthier, about our use of and our attachment to mobile technology.
The Benefits of a Digital Detox
In a childhood where tech is ubiquitous, I worry that my children aren't getting enough experience with waiting. I fear we've all become quite impatient due to the ease on-demand offers up so much of what we want. I notice that when my kids have strayed into too much screen time they are more easily frustrated in their other activities.
I can relate.
When we were living lakeside last year, sometimes I felt like I would lose my mind over the internet speed. No longer could I have a million tabs open on my screen. I had to choose between streaming shows and browsing. I soon learned that single-tasking rather than multitasking was the way to deal with our slow Wi-Fi. Unsurprisingly, I was more efficient with my time than I am now that I'm living back in the land of high-speed.
Reduced Exposure to Radiation
With the increased use of tech in our children’s lives, not only do we need to monitor how much screen time is being logged, but also consider how much radiation our children (and us) are being exposed to. Children’s brain and organs are still developing and while studies are still being done on the impact of radiation, it’s worthwhile to follow the precautionary principle when it comes to tech. This means lowering exposure until we know more about health risks.
So how can you minimize your family's exposure short of going tech-free?
There are a few simple solutions and a great product to help.
- Teach your children to text or use headphones for communication. This helps keep the mobile device as far as possible away from your child’s developing brain. Use headphones for yourself, too.
- Keep tech out of the bedrooms and if it needs to be there park it away from heads.
- Be an advocate. Do your own research about mobile radiation and look for opportunities to support the need for further government studies, like this one.
- Invest in Lif3 Smartchip for your cell phones. They fit on the back of your phone and when sized correctly, have been third-party proven to reduce up to 99% of cell phone radiation with barely any signal impact. Lif3's uses microwave absorbing materials and a passive coupler chip to redirect radiation away from your head and body. See for yourself how Lif3's technology works.
How to Prepare for Your Family Digital Detox
The best thing we did to prepare for our digital detox was to pick a date as a family and write it on the calendar. Just like we provide our children support with transitions for tidying up toys and bedtime, to set them up for success, they need to know what is coming.
In the days leading up to our detox, I was admittedly nervous. What if I needed my phone? What was I going to do?
In the spirit of maintaining your motivation, I suggest not waiting too long between declaring your intent and the start of your digital detox plan. Too much anticipation can stressful.
A 7-Day Family Digital Detox Plan
You can download this gentle 7-day family digital detox plan for your fridge or pin it to try when you are ready. Are you ready?!
Surprisingly, I found Day 6 quite difficult. While I usually give my children tech limits, with the exception of bedtime, I don't follow them myself. Since our 7-day digital detox, I've been more mindful about minimizing my screen time. As a family, the detox helped us become better at keeping our tech away from our bodies and when we do forget, I'm glad we have the LiF3 Smartchip . You can also get one with this 20% online discount using code: YMC2016.
Which digital detox day will be the most challenging for your family? Are you concerned about cell phone radiation?
Disclosure: This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and Lif3 #GetCellSmart sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.
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