I recently read an article about a family who decided to live for two weeks completely free of any electronics in their home. No television, no internet, no video games or cell phones. The mother believed her kids would learn patience and their grades would improve. Which she claims did happen at the end of the two week period.
So being the highly suggestible person that I am, I thought perhaps I should conduct a similar experiment in my home. I also believe that my kids have limited attention spans due to technology and that their grades might improve if they did not have access to so many distractions.
As a teenager I can remember my father complaining about the television generation. “You kids” he would say, “always looking for instant gratification. You want everything fixed in 30 minutes.” And of course he’s wrong. I want things fixed in five seconds.
To combat my attention issues and lack of patience he often suggested I sit quietly and twiddle my thumbs. Seriously, dad? This coming from a guy who was in the military, worked his way up the corporate ladder, played multiple sports, I don’t think he spent a lot of time twiddling his thumbs. I am sure this was just a phrase he picked up from his father and passed it along to us as a way to keep us out of his hair when we were bored.
I tried the same thing with my kids, but when I suggested what to do with their thumbs, they looked at me like I said something x-rated. No, I don’t think a technology free week is something I am willing to force on myself or my family. After all, I do know how to spend time sitting quietly and twiddling my thumbs, although in the year 2011 it’s called texting.