Converging without conversation due to the ever-presence of technology is not acceptable for families who wish to connect with one another.
How often have you found your loved ones gathered around the kitchen table in a seemingly communal environment but without a word passing from one individual to the next? Brothers and sisters sit next to each other in silence because the glow of each person’s screen has them intensely preoccupied? Emancipating them from the garble of technology can be difficult, especially when you are expecting an entire family to do it in unison. Cell phones, tablets, and laptop seem to be just an extension of hands and intrusive but welcomed guests. They incessantly interfere with conversation and community and our only means of talking is virtual. If we intend to abrogate ourselves and our families of their constant influence, even temporarily, we must make an effort to find a time where we do not invite their presence in our lives. We cannot allow mobile devices to hold our precious family time hostage.
Here are six technology-free ideas to take back your family time and create fleeting but treasured loquacious scenarios:
Cook together. Gathering in the kitchen should not be limited to simply eating. Try creating a meal together, from start to finish. Appetizers, entrees, and desserts for everyone – made and served with love. Cooking creates a bond over the food and a sense of pride in the final accomplishment, all with the added benefit of a delicious meal when you are complete.
Give back to others. Volunteering for a cause close to your heart is an insightful and altruistic way of prioritizing togetherness. Many philanthropic organizations need the extra helping hands. Brainstorm meaningful causes as a family, so each member of your household feels committed to the cause. Volunteering also encourages people to remove superfluous influences like mobile devices for a designated time frame.
Camp out. It takes minimal equipment to create a campsite environment for the whole family to enjoy. Find a local place to hike, set up a tent in the backyard, or roast marshmallows over an open fire, grill, or even in a fireplace. Camping does not need to be fancy, and you can do it in the comfort of your home or backyard. If it is a rainy day, you can even set up the tent inside the house and use it to host a family game night. It just takes a little planning and a dash of creativity to make family-friendly memories beneath the stars.
Camping out is an excellent way to break free from technology and embrace nature.
Take a bike ride. Once you are not competing against the allure of technology, it is easier to encourage the family to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Summer weather. Choosing to partake in physical activities is not only a healthy option, but it also releases endorphins for a shared euphoric feeling. Just make sure to bring a water bottle, so you are prepared should you get thirsty. You can also pack a picnic and ride to a nearby park to extend the outing.
Explore your city. Venture out of your comfort zone and discover new (or at least new-to-you) places throughout your community. Check out the local zoo, an art museum, an exotic restaurant, or a nearby park. You might be surprised at all the history and culture so close in proximity to your home. When a phone is always at your fingertips, you seclude yourself from these hidden treasures.
Splash around in the pool. A family pool day is on the menu for those who love to be outdoors and in the sun. In the South, we embrace the beautiful weather, and because of it, Southerners have an extended pool season. Making time to bask the sunshine is a must for families who desire to ditch technology. Leave the phones, tablets, and smartwatches next to the beach towels and sunscreen and dive in for an afternoon of togetherness and maybe even a game of Marco Polo.
Cherishing time with sons, daughters, siblings, and parents is achievable now with the help of Rec Warehouse, the Southeast’s largest above-ground-pool retailer. Rec Warehouse is the industry-leader in all things for at-home leisure and recreation including, but not limited to, above ground pools, hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, patio furniture, misting fans, and gaming tables. They are in the business of selling fun for less. Rec Warehouse sets the standard of offering high-quality products at affordable prices. They have a well-trained staff, always prepared and willing to assist with any above-ground-pool decisions ranging from pumps and chemicals to covers and liners. You can peruse their three convenient Atlanta-area locations in Kennesaw, Norcross, or Jonesboro, or search through their immense catalog of products online at recwarehouse.com.
Creating an at-home vacation-like oasis is a great way to combat the prolific grasp technology has on our lives. When you enjoy your home, and the people you share it, with you are more apt to discard the barrage of intrusive text messaging and consistent emails, and more likely to opt for genuine face-to-face communication. You might even recall how liberating it feels to be in the presence of those you love. Passing the hours together in an above ground pool, all while in the comfort of your yard makes spending technology-free time a priority for everyone in the family.