For most people, the idea of living without the modern technology to which they have become accustomed would be difficult to imagine. With so many conveniences available at relatively affordable prices, people have generally come to rely on having their cell phones, voicemail, call waiting, email, internet, computers, and even tablets. To have them all taken away would seem like a nightmare to many, but one Canadian family has made this their reality.
According to an article published today, Blair McMillan and his girlfriend Morgan Patey, parents to two young boys, are almost halfway though a year of living without all of these things. McMillan was inspired to limit the gadgets in his home when he realized that his boys would rather be inside, eyes glued to a tablet computer, than outside exploring the world around them.
McMillan and Patey decided to take a year off from modern tech and revert to the technology that was available to them when they were kids. They shut down their email accounts and social media pages and packed up their televisions, computers, and cell phones. Then they purchased a few basic items, including a rotary phone, an old box television, and an original Nintendo game system.
Now, instead of each member of the family tuning into a different gadget after dinner, they spend more time together doing different activities. Often, the family goes outside for an after-dinner walk, and the boys have learned to love exploring nature. McMillan says that his sons do argue more than they used to, but he attributes that to the fact that they are spending more time together.
McMillan says the hardest part is yet to come, since summer is nearly over, and outdoor activities will soon be severely limited by the harsh Canadian winter. Even so, the family is determined to see it through for a full year, which will end in April, 2014. When asked whether they would continue to live tech-free after April, McMillan laughed and said, "Probably not."
Whether they do or not, however, they have already done more than most families would attempt these days, and there is no doubt that their boys will have gained some new skills and interests from the experience. Although taking a year off from modern technology may be a bit too extreme for most parents, McMillan and Patey provide a good reminder of how important it is to make sure children unplug from all the gadgets on a regular basis so that they can get outside and play.