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Going Tech Cold Turkey

Sarah Klein

Online moms are quickly becoming heavy hitters in the world of technology. By some accounts, we use up to five different kinds of technology just to get through our daily routines! In terms of time spent using technology, moms may only be beaten out by teenagers, another tech-heavy demographic, especially when it comes to texting and social networking.

But what if we were not allowed to use the Internet or a single tech gadget – for ten whole days?
That’s exactly what a group of Philadelphia teenagers did. For 10 days, they gave up their cell phones, logged out of Facebook, tossed aside their Wii controllers, and even turned off their iPods. And surprisingly, it wasn’t as difficult as they expected!

One of the teens, David Silver, a senior in high school, visited the Today Show to speak with Matt Lauer about the experience. Silver allegedly averaged 14,000 text messages a month before the 10 day hiatus began in May! He said it wasn’t too difficult to put down the phone, but it was harder to fill all the extra time he now had on his hands.

Silver picked up some new exercise habits during the no-tech period and, much to his parents’ and teachers’ delight, started to improve at school. Without the constant distractions, he was able to study more and perform better on tests. Silver spent more time conversing and reconnecting with his family and, because he couldn’t interact on Facebook, he also spent more face-to-face time with his friends.

Going completely cold turkey isn’t entirely necessary, according to the psychologist who appeared alongside Silver and his mom on the Today segment. Instead, the most important lesson to learn from this experiment is the value of placing limits on the amount of technology that we use.
Technology intrudes on the time we once put aside for family, work, exercise, and even eating healthily. Of course, we have all benefited from technology as well, but it is important to remember there are limits. Try making certain activities or times “tech-free”. Whether it's dinner time, the ride to school, or just a quiet Sunday evening, we might all enjoy a little tech downtime!

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