Whether you fidget with palpitating heart at the advent of the newest iPhone or don't yet have an email address, there's no denying that most aspects of our lives have technology attached to them...and not always in healthy ways.
And if you've ever observed kids sitting in groups with their heads buried in their digital devices, tapping away — and not talking to each other — and adults tripping and falling on sidewalks doing the same thing, you know what the concerns are.
A Canadian couple has seen the problem, too.
Blair McMillan, 26, and his girlfriend Morgan, 27, have two sons: Trey, 5, and Denton, 2. And even at their decidedly young ages, the McMillan boys were doing little else than spending time attached to their parents' iPhones and iPad, according to the Toronto Sun.
"That's kind of when it hit me because I'm like, wow, when I was a kid, I lived outside," McMillan told the Sun.
So the 'rents took away the iPhones and iPad...strictly rotary-fueled chats now:
But that's not all.
They got rid of everything. All technology dating back to 1986, in fact, they year Blair and Morgan were born.
Which means no laptops, no tablets, no smart phones, no Internet (they use encyclopedias to get information).
Not even that wonderful machine that makes delicious single cups of coffee in less than a minute.
“We’re parenting our kids the same way we were parented...just to see what it’s like,” McMillan said.
Think that's all? Not even close:
- They do their banking in person instead of online;
- They develop rolls of film for $20 a pop to be placed in photo albums instead employing Instagram to chronicle their sons' latest escapades on Facebook;
- They also journeyed across the United States using paper maps (huh?) and subdued their sometimes unhappy boys with coloring books and stickers instead of the latest video game via screen built into front-seat headrests.
- Albeit their car remains firmly ensconced in the 21st century (although they don't have GPS on their 2010 Kia).
Here's some more:
They moved into a house built in the 80s, where guests get a gander at their old-school TV attached to Nintendo — who could live without Super Mario, after all? — and bright-pink cassette player.
And you think if you're an innocent visitor to Blair and Morgan's place that you'll be spared the technological fast? Think again.
You must turn over your modern electronic devices so that they can be kept in a box until you're ready to leave.
Of course, the kids' development was the initial concern, but with their habits turned, what do adults to do for fun?
Morgan told the Sun she read 15 books since the embarked to the '80s last spring. Blair added that he was thinking of writing letters to his favorite bands for copies of their music on cassette.
The coup de grace may be Blair's mullet (which the boys mimic) and bushy mustache (which they don't).
Their spartan move has come with a price, literally: McMillan told the Sun he lost his business partner after he refused to use modern technology at work. So he's looking to send handwritten resumes — in cursive — to prospective employers.
How long will Blair and Morgan keep up the time travel to the year Bill Buckner let Mookie Wilson's grounder dribble through his legs?
Until April 2014, they say.
If nothing else, there seems to be a rather curious result to this rather unique experiment.
"We're just closer," said Morgan. "There's more talking."
And believe it or not, the McMillan household isn't the only outpost battling technological dependence.
Wyoming Catholic College bans cell phones, televisions, and access to most web sites in dorm rooms. Administrators allow only limited Internet connectivity throughout the small liberal arts campus (only 112 students!) for online research, according to Yahoo News.
“It’s a release, really, not having a cell phone,” said Erin Milligan, a 20-year-old junior from New Hampshire. “When you are no longer captivated by technology, you find your true and real self.”
Before the start of each school year, students give up their digital devices, which are locked in a box in each dorm room. (Of course, students can check them out for emergencies or if they leave campus for travel.)
“We are so tech savvy these days,” Milligan said. “But something that is really prevalent is our inability to genuinely communicate at a human-to-human, face-to-face level.”