At the Clearinghouse we often encourage parents to schedule “no tech times.” One dad recently told me that his daughter told him that she looks forward to the nights that she doesn’t have to worry about her phone. Her dad asked why she thought it was such a relief to not have her phone and she said because of the pressure she feels to constantly present herself through social media. She felt a constant need to update her Snapchat story and make her life look glamorous and busy in real time, all the time. The conversation that followed between that father and daughter was priceless. Until that point, he had no idea his daughter had felt so much pressure to look “perfectly put together on social media” and “no tech night” gave him an opportunity to talk with his daughter about social media.
I read a study recently that said it takes seven minutes to get into a real and engaging conversation. Sometimes weeks get busy and time for a full tech free family night is impossible, but even the 15 minute drive across town can serve as a great time to put phones away and talk.
I know a couple who has created a designated space on the kitchen counter for everyone to put their phones during dinner each time their adult children and grandchildren come over for dinner. If anyone gets up to answer a call or text that person has to do the dishes. I personally have witnessed these evenings and things get extremely competitive among the grandchildren. We hope you consider implementing a “no tech time” into your family’s routine! Engaging in meaningful dialogue as a family is priceless.