6 Ways To Unplug This Summer
There’s certainly a conversation to be had about screen addiction. According to a recent poll of 1200 teens conducted by Common Sense Media, 50% of them admitted to feeling addicted to their cell phones. But if we’re honest, Mom and Dad, the truth is it’s not just teens who have a problem. According to a separate study, 66% of us feel panicked when we are separated from our cell phones.
According to the Chicago Tribune, 40% of iPhone users said they’d rather give up brushing their teeth for a week than to be without their cells (Ew!) The impact this is having on us as individuals and as families is evident. Teens are missing out on lessons that come with face-to-face connection, and family time is being infringed upon when no one can stop looking at their phones.
1.) Take up a hands-on hobby like painting.
Sign your teen (and yourself!) up for art lessons, take up a craft like woodworking, or even just keep some of those great adult coloring books and colored pencils around. Art and crafting are great ways to decompress away from your cell phone.
2.) Take a hike.
There are few better ways to reconnect than getting outside together! Pack a lunch and find somewhere beautiful to unplug for a couple of hours.
Even better? Find a camping spot with no internet service!
3.) Make it a contest.
Challenge your household to see who can go the most hours without checking email, news, or social media. Anyone who can go the entire Saturday without a single Snap gets the prize. The winner gets to pick dinner-or if you’re really serious, make it a cash prize.
Did you know that journaling can make you more mindful, more confident, and can spark your communication skills? That pretty much counters every negative aspect of screen addiction! Get journals with your teen’s needs and interests in mind; art journals, dream journals, stress journals...all of them are beneficial!
5.) Sign up for an exercise class.
An hour of physical activity is the perfect way to unplug and focus on something other than Instagram likes. If classes aren’t your teen’s thing, online yoga instructors might be the perfect solution for a free, at-home break from the stresses of social media.
6.) Read a book. An actual book.
On paper. Did you know that reading from a book rather than an e-book boosts retention, improves your sleep quality, and is easier on your eyes than a screen
"A study of over 1000 Australian high school students ages 13–16 found that poor-quality sleep associated with late-night phone use was linked to a decline in mental health, such as depressed moods, declines in self-esteem, and coping ability." - Journal of Child Development, Mobile Phones in the Bedroom 2017
"2.7x higher rates of depression were found in frequent social media users over less frequent users." - University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Social Media & Depression Survey 2016