The UK’s “Daybreak” (iTV) is kind of “The Today Show” with posh accents … this segment was featured during their recent “Parent Week.” Check out the editing – presenter Nick Dixon confessed to being mega-proud of it. And the crime-scene tape is a killer!
The Lost Art of Staring Into Space
“Which do you prefer — sex or a pastrami sandwich?” one guy asks another, though it’s not a proposition but a light-hearted survey. “To tell you the truth,” the other guy says, “sometimes the sandwich.” This exchange is lodged in my memory, overheard a dozen years ago at a restaurant.
It reminds me of a scene from last Sunday at the Buttercup Bake Shop near my apartment, a heartbreaking power struggle involving competing temptations: technology, love and sugar. I watched a girl, about 10 years old, eat a cupcake and try to get her mother’s attention, but Mom had eyes and fingers only for her iPhone. There was no evidence she’d even eaten a cupcake. She scrolled through emails for the entire time I sat next to them, 20 minutes. iPhone 1 – Cupcake 0. iPhone 1 – Daughter 0.
Without being wired, family connected again
Susan Maushart, a divorced mother of three teenagers, noticed how digital technology, from Facebook to online gaming to constant text messaging, had fractured her family into independent fiefdoms. Connected only to their devices and their online “friends,’’ the Maushart family had stopped eating together and rarely held real-world conversations. As Maushart puts it, “I started considering . . . the possibility that the more we connect, the further we may drift, the more fragmented we may become.’’
After rereading “Walden,’’ about Henry David Thoreau’s famous two-year stint living in solitude alongside a Concord pond, Maushart, a journalist and social scientist with a doctorate from New York University in communication arts and science, was inspired to begin her own experiment in mindful living: For a six-month period, she would allow her family no in-home access to any screen, including computers, cellphones, and televisions. Needless to say, her teenagers were less than thrilled, but, as Maushart’s provocative, funny, and highly personal memoir shows, it changed them all profoundly.
“ILY!” Susan Maushart’s 16-year-old daughter often calls out over her shoulder as she leaves the house. Sure, actual words would be better. But Mom knows not to complain. . . . → Read More: OMG, when did we start talking like txt msgs?
Computer screens flickering. Televisions blaring. Games consoles bleeping. Our homes have become dominated by electronic equipment. So Susan Maushart decided it was time to give herself – and her children – a digital detox.
Busy, busy, busy - Here’s another recent article: this one from Mail Online. Getting the opportunity to actually go to London to promote my book was amazing. (Topshop? OMG. Don’t get me started …!) The thing is, that sort of thing doesn’t happen when you live in Western Australia.
How one family survived six months without using any electronic gadgets and in the process changed their lives – and their understanding of technology – for the better. . . . → Read More: EXPRESSYOURSELF: Our Digital Detox