Digital detox: Look up, unplug and go outside

By | May 20, 2014 | Gear & Gadgets

Digital detox: Look up, unplug and go outside | The Momiverse | Videos featuring Gary Turk, Zachary Levi, Sesame Street

Gary Turk says, “We’re a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.”

For the longest time, I considered it life or death if I left my smartphone at home. What if my car breaks down? What if I get into a car accident? What if I need to send an email about work?

My Samsung Galaxy smartphone has a big screen and allows me to get some work done while I’m out of the house. Sometimes in the carpool lane at my kids’ school, I make phone calls, other times I use the Cozi app to make my grocery list for the week or work on email or social media for The Momiverse.

But I’ve been forgetting my smartphone lately.

Maybe it’s subconscious or maybe I’m really forgetful (more likely), but it’s been liberating. The sky seems bluer, the birds sing louder. I even read a book while waiting in the carpool lane – you know, the kind with paper pages and all! I actually played tag with my kids in the park instead of taking pictures of them playing tag.

Everywhere we go, people are on their phones. One of my pet peeves is going out to lunch with a friend and having her try to carry on a conversation with me all the while checking in on Foursquare, tweeting about her lunch, and posting on Facebook and Instagram. I use social media every day to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues, share articles and information, and market The Momiverse, but c’mon people. It’s getting ridiculous.

The thought of children playing on iPads during a family dinner makes me sad. Those children are missing out on the joy of sharing a tasty meal and conversation with people they love, let alone learning about table manners.

And like most moms, I spend a lot of time in the car and am totally disgusted by the number of people who drive like idiots because they’re too busy texting.

How many times have we told our kids, “Just one more minute,” or “Let me finish this text”?

Your failure to “look up” might be why you feel regret as a parent.

You may have read my past post about the importance of unplugging and spending quality time with your family during the holidays. However, I would argue that a technology detox is something we should practice regularly – weekly. Be present to enjoy the ones you love.

And to encourage you to take a tech detox and be present with your kids, family and friends, I’m sharing this video by Gary Turk. He describes Look Up as “a lesson taught to us through a love story, in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, but always results in us spending more time alone.”

To encourage your kids to take a tech detox, Zachary Levi and Sesame Street’s Bert want you and your kids to unplug and go outside.

Just think of all we’re missing by staring at our devices.


Now, get off your computer, phone or tablet and go play outside with your kids.


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Charmin Calamaris

Charmin is a wife, mom of two boys and creator of the Momiverse. The Momiverse is an online magazine for busy moms (is there any other kind?) dedicated to helping moms make time – and take time – for themselves. She traded in her career in land use planning and environmental policy to become Chief Executive Navigator of the Momiverse. You can connect with Charmin in her "online office" on Twitter or Facebook.

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