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Lifestyle Tip: Find Times to Turn off the Technology January 4, 2013

Sometimes, in a regular day with personal computers, computer games, iPods and iPads I feel that we’re losing our ability to be creative in play and fellowship with family.

To talk to nieces and nephews and my friends’ kids, you have to wrench (well, gently coax) them away from the computer screen or pop the iPod ear-buds out of little ears to get their attention.

Don’t misinterpret me; my personal and professional life is so much more enhanced by the technology I tap into today.

I have an iMac, regular PC desktop and a laptop and recently purchased a iPad … finally. That’s not counting the technology used for work.

The other day, I gathered around the computer with my nephews and nieces watching them play a game. A bridge was slowly disintegrating while these funny little people were trying to cross it. The way I conversed with them was asking them questions about the game. They were having too much fun to tear them away from the game this time.

But I walked away cheated thinking I didn’t get to have a decent conversation with them. Often, their daddy will come in and tell them to turn off the computer and come out into the living room to visit.

Then we talk and it’s fun.

I remember Patrick and Curt, the little brothers, play on the farm. In the 1960s and 1970s we didn’t have iPads or iPods to play games on. So we created our adventures. I can remember Patrick and Curt building roads and tunnels in the mud. Everything they did, (myself included) was a made up adventure. We had wide open spaces and so much to explore.

So, now, I have a few rules. I don’t check my email on weekends when I’m with family and friends, I shut off my cell phone. A good friend of ours always says, “The cell phone is for me, not for you. If you don’t get me leave a message and I’ll call back.”

And many Mom and Dads are banning computer games when family is over. In fact, one of our farm families we work with has a rule when the grandkids come over. He makes them put all electronics and gadgets in a basket he then hides and they don’t get them back until they leave his home. It works. He has the best time with his family and they love their grandpa and grandma. 

Is is time to put away all the “stuff” and just have a good conversation? 




1. Peggy Jo Goodfellow - January 4, 2013

Great article! I haven’t had to gather phones, ipods, etc. yet but I won’t hesitate to do it. As it is, we have too few visits with family members to not actually have a conversation with each other when we have the opportunity.

2. Sonia - January 5, 2013

You are the perfect person to post this, miss media. Wrench was the right word! I wholeheartedly agree and this is one of the reasons we don’t have wifi at home, among spending too much time and not doing other things and having to filter content (especially as the boys move into puberty!). Good for you declaring email fasts! We also limit tv time. My little 6year old cousin can’t really hold a conversation except about tv characters…sigh.