A Tech-Free Family Challenge

Tech Free family

You’re reading this on your phone, computer, or tablet right? There’s nothing wrong with that! I’m not going to beat up on you and tell you that tech is bad and ruining your life. Technology allows us to keep up with people who are far away, stay in contact with loved ones as they go about their busy days, and keep music and other media in the palms of our hands. There’s just one problem: technology also makes it difficult to connect with the people right in front of us! I live and work in technology and I love it! But I also plan time to be without it. Every year when my family and I go on our retreat, we go without technology for the most part. It’s really allowed us to interact in a more loving and respectful way (and I even have teenage daughters!). Here’s what you can do to get a tech-free family challenge started in your house.

24 Hours

Commit to one day, just one day, without your devices. Do you want to start it at midnight and insist that no one touches their devices again until midnight the next day? Done! If it works better for your family, however, you might consider starting your tech-free day at breakfast and ending it at bedtime. The goal, however, is one full day without using technology. That means:

  • No TV
  • No video games
  • No movies
  • No smartphones/tablets/computers
  • No tech-period!

What Will You Do All Day?

A whole day without your devices: you’re breaking out in a cold sweat and you don’t even know what to do with yourself! Fortunately, there are plenty of activities that will help you and your family bond.

Take a long walk together. Whether you head out to the park walking the family dog, or you’re simply taking a walk around the neighborhood, time without technology will allow you to really talk to and connect with one another.

Play a few outdoor games. Play a game of basketball, jump rope together double-dutch style, or try some water balloons in the warmer months. The more you move, the better you’ll all feel!

Pull out the board games. You don’t need a screen to offer plenty of gaming fun! Dust off some of those old board games. Cranium offers plenty of creative laughs, while a simple game of chess can provide hours of strategic consideration. Consider playing Memory or Chutes and Ladders with a younger child.

Check out your neighborhood. Go out and see what there is to see. (You can break your resolution long enough to use your GPS, if needed.) Take a visit to the local aquarium or zoo and focus on really looking at the exhibits, not on taking pictures or checking your email. Head out to a local museum and examine its contents. There’s plenty to see, especially when there’s not a smartphone in your way!

Cook together. When was the last time your family got in the kitchen together and prepared a meal, then gathered around the table to eat it? We signed up for HelloFresh last month and love it. You can also challenge each other ahead of time to come up with a fun recipe (write it down so you don’t have to look on your device), make mini pizzas together, and laugh as you prepare dessert.

Spending a day without technology is an excellent way to bond with all of the members of your family. Turn your technology off for just one day to discover exactly how bright the world can be without it.

I’d love to hear from you and what you do to connect with your family!

Jay Feitlinger is a serial entrepreneur who is the Founder and CEO of digital marketing agency StringCan Interactive - his eighth company - with offices in Scottsdale, Arizona and Paris, France. As a business owner, husband and father of two lovely pre-teen girls, he intimately understands how entrepreneurial pursuits can take a toll on the most intimate relationships in your life.

He is the author of Family 2.0 which draws on Jay’s personal experience from 15 years of marriage and 17 years of executive leadership, and offers a roadmap to help entrepreneurs get aligned with their families again. Based on proven business best practices, the book outlines a four-day, family-friendly retreat that can be customized to work for any family. After following the process, transformation is all but inevitable.

In addition to running StringCan Interactive and helping entrepreneurs strengthen their families through Family 2.0, Jay is a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and a highly respected speaker, mentor and advisor.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply