Summer and the livin’ is easy….but look around and you will see people walking with their phones in hand and heads down, families in the car and everyone but the driver, hopefully, on a device.  Call me crazy, but I find it very disconcerting!

The American Psychological Association released an extensive research study in February, 2017, Stress in America, based on responses from over 3500 adults across the United States.  The results are very illuminating and important for us to understand.  Over 45% of parents reported feeling disconnected from their families even when together due to technology.  Over half say they worry about their children and teens and their use of electronic devices.  65% say they think it would be good to take a digital detox but only 28% say they do it.  We know that attachment to devices is associated with higher stress levels and negative effects on both physical and mental health.

In Europe, France has passed a law that companies with 50 or more employees are not to respond to emails during leisure time.  German auto maker, Daimler, has instructed employees to use an “auto delete” when on vacation.

  • We are really talking about the benefit of unplugging:
  • Refresh
  • Restore
  • Recharge
  • Relax
  • Reconnect

Twenty percent of children say they feel overwhelmed and stressed by technology.

I am suggesting that it is important to find balance with our electronic devices.  Certainly they provide a remarkable resource and are critical tools in today’s world.  However, being intentional with them and making conscious choices are fundamental to managing them correctly.

Take an inventory and ask yourself:

  • Who do you want to be as a family?
  • How are devices bringing you closer together or further apart?
  • Do you turn your phones off at dinner?
  • Do you have a family charging station and make sure your children and teens are not on their phones at 2 am?
  • How much time do you spend on electronic devices?
  • Do you feel anxious if you are disconnected from your devices?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed with email, texts, instagram, Facebook, snapchat, etc?
  • How would you rate yourself as a role model with your electronic devices for your children?

After taking this inventory you can embark on a family discussion, set up agreements, brainstorm alternatives.

Who knows, you may even do an ‘E Fast”:  Turn Off to Turn On!

For more information and reading resources: