It is no secret. Devices, phones in particular, are taking more away from our lives than they potentially add in value and convenience. My daughter, Amelia, received her first phone for Christmas this year. Our family rule was to wait until middle school but we caved. I regret it. Since she has received her phone, she has been different. Everything about her from her communication style to her mood to the look in her eyes has changed. Q, my son, has had a phone for over 2 years now. I've watched his communication skills decline ever since. At one point, I just assumed that he was entering the stereotypical teenage years; however, when we grounded him and took screens away for a couple of weeks, my engaging, jovial son returned within 24 hours.
I'm no saint either. I am fully addicted. I normally try to take Sundays off and even try to put the screens away on our annual family trip to Telluride. However, in the last couple of years, it has been tougher to let go. I have even found that I sometimes feel ill (in the same way you do after you have indulged in too much sugar) after an extended mind-numbing Instagram session, scrolling down the e-rabbithole. I have even noticed that I have trouble concentrating for long periods of time. And, if I am being really honest, I haven't completed a book that I have started in years. I get bored about half way through and start another one.
And I am not alone. This is an epidemic, people. One that I hope to take on, on a grander scale. I am just not sure how yet.
So I have struggled with the best way to document and share our adventure. Part of me has wanted to shut everything out and just go, but that is a story for another post.
In a more balanced approach, we are setting expectations with the kids that the phones will be gone for 5 weeks. We are stealing the phrase from my son's summer camp, "Disconnect to reconnect." We will also be off of email, the web and will not be consuming in social. The only screen will be our nightly blog post - the kids will journal by hand and Jeff and I will take turns uploading to this site. Photos will be taken by actual cameras! The only screen we will allow ourselves are movies on the long flights and I am even contemplating limiting that.
So basically we are about to be off of the grid in a big way. This website will simply serve as a way to document our journey while letting our loved ones know that we are still alive.