Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dad and His Devices

Ok, I will be the first to admit that I am a grown man who still likes his toys. I mean what man doesn't right? I grew up physically but there is a part of me that wants to block out the rest of the world sometimes and just go outside and play with some GI Joe action figures. Since I'm confessing, from time to time I do enjoy searching for old toys from my childhood that are for sale on Ebay. As a husband and father, I can't justifiably bid on that vintage GI Joe. So, I get my fix by getting into grown up toys like new power tools--to help fix up the house for the wife of course...ahemm.

Electronics and Gadgets
Bezos unveiling the Kindle Fire HD
I am also a techno geek that enjoys my fair share of  electronics, like Xbox, Kindle Fire HD, and my digital SLR. Right now, my Kindle is in heavy rotation because it helps keep me organized as I pursue my Master's degree. Of course, as I write this post my kids are right next to me using it to watch Disney Jr. shows. Yeah at any time of day any of dad's devices are being used by any family member. Now, I'm not one to say that devices are bad, but I refuse to allow them to take over my family life. Everyday, there seems to be some new app that I learn about that promises to make my life or job easier. Of course the truth is, a considerable amount of my time goes into learning how to use these apps, which takes away from something else. Before, I know it, my "honey-do list" and my "digital to do list" are in a grudge match. Finding that balance between dad time, family time, and device time is a quest that will be around for the rest of my life. Lots of folks are also feeling the need to regain control of their lives in the digital age. A new trend known as digital detox is starting to get quite a few followers. As some of you may know,  March 7-8 is the National Day of Unplugging, which sees many families spending extra time connecting without the use of technology. The video below gives you the scoop on this holiday and no you don't need to load an app to view the video...just click the link...

Digital Detox Plan
This day is a great way for us dads to make sure we don't end up living like the weird guy in the movie Her. So what are some other ways that we can regularly keep our electronics from competing with quality time? Here are a few that have been helpful for me and my family:

1.) Watching a show or playing a game together on your device as a family once a week
2.) Pick a device free evening (especially on date nights or family outings)
3.) Set a schedule for your digital device time

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