No Technology for a Day; Our Family's Experiment

 The boys were hard at work on their school stuff one day last week when I found an article about how one college tried an experiment to have their students go without technology for a day.

I was so stunned by what I was reading that I think I actually said "wow!" a few times out loud. Curious as to what had my attention the boys asked me what I was reading so I started reading the article out loud.

The boys were amazed that kids had suicidal thoughts and other physical reactions over having no screens for an 8 hour day and told me they thought we should run our own experiment one day next week...

So tomorrow we will not be using any screens for any reason at all.  No TV, No computer, No Wiiu or X box, No Radio or MP3 players, No smartphones (unless we break down and need to call for help).... No Blog!  

We're pretty sure this will be pretty easy but we did modify the experiment slightly due to the boys ages.  In the original experiment the kids were to spend a whole 8 hour day alone without communicating with anyone; which also meant talking to other people.  Obviously that would be rather difficult for the boys to get any schoolwork done or ask for help/ opinions when preparing meals so we decided that for us communication was fine as long as it was face- to- face.

The boys are excited at the idea of a day to play with toys, their Lego sets, art supplies, and read books.

We're pretty sure that the hypothesis the psychologist was trying to prove is not valid; today’s generation of young people are too often entertained by things not of their making, are incapable of finding ways to keep themselves busy, and are completely unfamiliar with the idea of the world of their imagination

It sounds pretty easy but knowing that only 3 of the 68 participants were able to make it through the full 8 hours without severe problems makes me wonder if overly confident.  But I don't think so.

We often spend our days outside playing.  The boys have spent HOURS in their rooms working together on Lego creations only emerging for lunch and dinner.  Alec often locks himself in his own room to read or play with Mario/ Ben 10 characters making up huge elaborate play scenes in his head.

Perhaps this experiment will be easier for us (we believe!) because the boys are so young and they do rely so much on their imagination still.  It may be that this is harder for teenagers who are slowly moving away from childhood and into adulthood; they often flounder for things to do that are not babyish but not so boring and adultish either (yeah, I realize adultish isn't a word but it just fit so nicely there!).

I'm really not sure how our day will go but we can't wait to give it a try!

Updated: You can read about our results HERE!

Linking up with:

Thursday Favorite Thing blog link party


  1. Way to go Mom and boys! Love how you found an article and the boys decided to try it themselves. Perfect example of why homeschooling is so great. Good luck on your experiment. I know for us, it would be hard for my oldest son. My 2 younger kids would find something to do creatively, but that is just their nature. My oldest would throw a fit for a while but would eventually settle in and play his guitar. Video games and movies are his passion so you can understand his problem. But I think you are right about the older they get, the more absorbed into technology they get, and the harder it is for them to let it all go. Let us in on how it goes please. :)

    1. I definitely plan to write up a blog post about how it went. They've already reminded me a few times that it's no screen day tomorrow and I encouraged them to brainstorm some ideas today for what they'd like to do tomorrow. We're excited! But I am glad it's just for one day. I too depend on technology!!

  2. We've done that around here too! Sometimes unplugging is emotionally and physically NEEDED. I'm always amazed how suddenly the kids are outside, exploring, playing...or their creative juices get flowing. And there's something so much better about the noise of talking and giggling and active kids versus TV, laptops and game devices. Truth be told - I'm usually the one that has the hardest time adjusting to "tech fasting"...I think for my kids it may be easier because we haven't had cable or Netflix for years. We only have 2 TVs for either video games or movies. They do have phones (if my son could find his) and the laptop that is shared.

    1. I think I may have had a harder time with this today than they did. They were content and busy almost all day but when they were stumped on a definition of a word I immediately thought of looking it up on Google (but remembered in time and didn't). There were so many times I thought of something I wanted to do on-line that I started making a list for when our 8 hour day was up!

  3. Very curious to read how this went! We did away with tech for the boys a few days in a row-and it felt wonderful! At first, we had the expected grumbling but that was soon replaced with giggles and games. I think many of us have become dependent upon tech (myself included!). So glad I found this on The Homeschool Nook! If we conduct an experiment like this, I'll make sure to report back:)

  4. I love this! I really want to encourage my kids to play more on their own, without needing someone or something to entertain them. Luckily, my daughter is artistic, and can spend long periods in her room making artwork. I don't let them have tablets or phones. I'm looking forward to reading the results of your experiment! Thanks for sharing at the #ManicMondays blog hop!

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! If you notice above I did link to the results of our experiment too.

  5. I love that the boys came up with this!

  6. Great idea - to unplug. You and the boys did great. You even went over the allotted time. I read your results. Stop by Thursday Favorite Things since I am featuring this post.


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