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Celebrate a Dead Battery


The last time this subject appeared here was two years ago, yet this topic creates conversations much more often than every two years—more like every two days. The discussion centers on how connected we are to our phones, computers, and devices. Even in two short years, we’ve added another means of communicating that’s a much smaller size, yet huge in scale—your watch. So with great eyesight, you can read and send texts, answer your phone and talk into your wrist like some 007 character, go grocery shopping without stepping foot in the store, watch a movie, and even order diapers and have them delivered before bedtime. We sleep and wake up with our phones; we communicate with 140 characters; we look at vacation pictures online. While we can’t ignore the significance that technology has brought into our world, would a break every now and then be such a bad thing? Dare we let the batteries die and let them sit still for 24 hours before bringing them back to life? Now before you have a meltdown and say “are you crazy?”—let’s walk through the “screens” of your life.

  • Email: Take a break, especially overnight or for the weekend.
  • Computer: Use a dictionary. Look at an atlas. Call a business to see when they’re open. Play solitaire with a deck of cards. Interaction is a wonderful thing.
  • Social Media: Would anyone miss you for a day? Sometimes we are so busy updating our status that we forget to live in the moment with those who are present. It’s okay to release this.
  • TV: On Demand will catch you back up on any show or season you’ve missed.
  • Phone: Voice mail is a wonderful tool, when utilized.
  • Texting: Messages will stay in your inbox. Give yourself permission not to be available for immediate access. (Have you ever tried to call someone and get no response yet you send a text and get an immediate reply?)
  • Hand-held Technology (Kindle, iPod, video games, etc.): Instead, go to the park or a Baron’s game. Watch it live and be part of the excitement.
  • Watch: Wear one that only tells time.

Think about how you feel when the electricity goes off. It’s like the world has stopped and forced you to get quiet and imaginative. Breaking away from a screen should not be viewed as punishment. Instead, suggest to your family that dead batteries can be a tremendous stress reducer. When you’re accessible 24/7, it can create an unrealistic pace that’s hard to maintain. Use this time to catch up with activities like reading, writing, cleaning, talking, exercising, or even decorating. Play a board game. Throw the football. Read a book. The time can be productive, if you need it to be, or it can be a time to relax and reconnect.

While many voice their concerns and opinions of cursive writing not being taught in schools these days, we may need to be more concerned that the art of talking may become obsolete. While that may seem exaggerated, just ask a speech therapist for their opinion. Let’s make a conscious effort to increase the time we spend with our families and friends by using the most basic form of communication—being together without a screen between us. Let the battery die and give it a peaceful rest before you administer CPR. It’s that simple.