Digital Wellness - Bits & Bytes
Our devices keep us connected, informed, and engaged, but they can also distract, interrupt, and cause conflict.
Technology is everywhere. Laptops and tablets on the counter, Google Home or Alexa across the room, smartphones in pockets, and even smartwatches on our wrists. Device-free zones for the whole family can be a great way to practice mindfulness and strengthen your family’s Digital Wellness.
With that in mind, here are 3 areas to consider to be device-free zones for your whole family:
the dinner table
Some studies have shown that families can spend nearly half their meal time distracted by their devices. To help you in making your dinner table a device-free zone, be sure you model the same behaviour and consider using conversation starters like, “what was your favourite part of your day?”, or “where should we go on our next trip?”. Device-free family meals have been linked to happiness and improved mental and physical quality of life.
Another important one to model with your children is to make bedrooms a device-free zone. Poor sleep can affect performance, weight, and well-being and devices in the bedroom can be a significant sleep disrupter. Learn more in our other post on Do These 3 Things To Better Protect Your Sleep.
Another good place to create a device-free zone is the car. Not only is this a best practice for safety’s sake (i.e. distracted driving accounts for more than 20% of fatal collisions in Canada), the reality is that the best conversations with your kids can happen when you are in the car together. This is because you aren’t looking directly at your children, so their brain doesn’t feel like it’s being interrogated. Whether you’re cracking jokes or helping your child work through a problem with a friend, the car is a great place to tuck the devices away and talk with each other.
The dinner table, the bedroom, and the car are all great places to consider making device-free for your family (or even mostly device-free, as there are times that call for looking something up). The key is to strive for balance and to try to be present when around your family and friends.
3 Places Families Should Make Phone-Free by Common Sense Media
What Are Tech-Free Zones and Are They Right For My Family? by Smart Tools for Digital Parents