Are there benefits to setting limits for Electronics in your house?
Recently my wife and I noticed a frustrating pattern of what can only be called addiction in our boys when it comes to electronics. This means video games, television, phone apps, internet and social media. We started to notice that the boys had a lower tolerance for attention span, shorter tempers and lacked a general ability to be creative especially when it came to boredom. The hardest part of this realization is that we realized it wasn’t just the boys. It was us too.
Enough was enough so we instituted a complete ban on most apps on their phones. This created a situation where if they wanted to search the web, play games or use youtube they had to ask. We also instituted a ban on TV and Electronics in the entire household until 7PM at night. It has been difficult to say the least to manage these guidelines in the home and at times it’s most difficult on myself. There are moments where you just want to relax and distract the mind with low brow entertainment.
This has been going on in our house for more than a month now and I have to say the results are nothing short of amazing. They aren’t all good all the time but it’s worth the effort. Our boys now have realized they have hobbies again, they have interests and they are pursuing them. We play board games, go on family walks and spend more time talking and cooking together. The hardest part came on Monday earlier this week. Our oldest went on a walk with me and explained that being at school has become difficult without the distraction of his phone because he’s the only one. I felt bad but in a lot of ways I felt justified and it only solidified my belief that where your mind goes shouldn’t be controlled or distracted so thoroughly by anyone or anything beyond your own interests. The most interesting part was he acknowledged that a lot of the kids at his school seemed like zombies because they were never not on their phones. He sees it too!!
I’m not saying that our new reality is perfect or even that it’s right for you. Life isn’t easy, it’s not meant to be easy and where you spend your attention and your time shouldn’t be zoned out. Go dream, unplug and start doing! Don’t watch other people live their lives as a way to live yours! Are there benefits, yes. I think there are a lifetime of benefits that we have yet to even realize.