Tech-free holidays

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal)  The Holidays are all about connection- and not our internet connection.  David Ryan Polgar, a Digital Family Expert at told us more.

Tech Balance for the Holidays

The Holidays are all about connection. It is a time to be surrounded by loved ones, sharing good food and good conversation. While smartphones and tablets have the ability to bring us closer to the world at large, they can sometimes prevent us from truly connecting with those actually around us. Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to form a deeper bond with those sitting around the table. Here are a few simple tips on making that happen:

  • Establish the tech-use ground rules during the Holidays.

If left to our own devices…we will always be on them. Nobody likes being scolded; it is best to clearly establish the expectations for during dinner and other activities. Instead of having to tell people to put away phones, it is best to create TECH-FREE TIMES and TECH-FREE ZONES.

  • Encourage active participation during the Holidays.

Texting is a far easier form of communication than speaking face-to-face; a user has complete control over when to respond and removes the need for picking up on important nonverbal cues. Encourage everyone at your table to participate, add to the conversation, and truly find out what’s going on in their life.

  • Don’t rely on Willpower alone!

Finding a moment to unplug is like going to the gym—unless you schedule it, it may never happen. Our willpower works likes a muscle that is constantly getting fatigued by the tempting nature of constantly consuming Instagram photos, Twitter feeds, and Facebook updates. Treat your relationship with technology similar to how you treat food–the more tempting food you have next to you, the more you will eat. It is the same with our devices.

Overall, your family is trying to find the sweet spot of connection. Technology is an increasingly important part of our daily life, and can greatly enhance our wellbeing and ability to connect. The sweet spot of connection is where we use tech to connect with people and provide entertainment, but don’t abuse it in a way where it becomes our escape from the world. It is all about maximizing the human experience.

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