MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many of us will find ourselves with time off this week from work to celebrate the 4th of July with family and friends. However, instead of relaxing and reconnecting with loved ones, we may end up texting, typing, posting and playing games on electronic devices.
Dr. Cheryl Bemel is a psychologist and a family therapist at the Allina Clinic in West St. Paul.
“I hear this from families that I see, time and time again. It is so important that we have down time with our families. Our society is on fast forward,” Bemel said.
Bemel said being physically present, but mentally absent can create resentment among those who want to spend quality time with you.
“The person that is overusing the device is offending those who are feeling left out or disconnected,” Bernel said. “But the person is also disconnecting themselves.”
Bemel said we don’t have to ban electronics completely, just limit their use.
“The purpose of a vacation is to play together and be together and interact, so with children or adults who are using their devices too frequently that can be instituted. Have certain rules or limits set to do X, Y and Z with the family for a certain amount of time and then afterwards they can earn their phone time or their screen time, etc.,” she said.
Bemel also showed us a compromise of sorts: A cool game called “Heads Up” that you download to your device. It’s like Charades.
Mobile devices are such a part of our lives that even campground managers say they get frequent requests for Wi-Fi service.
The Minnesota DNR started adding it to state parks in 2007 and there are now six state parks with Wi-Fi. According to the DNR, some people claim they would not be able to take time off from work to hike or camp, if they could not also check in on their emails.
For more advice on having a tech-free vacation, click here.