• How does a tech-savvy, social media marketer, suburban mom of three kids happen upon a technology-free 1970’s summer in the middle of the twenty-first century?

    That’s a question Social Chick, Karina Cebuliak asked herself and the result goes a little something like this:

    “In the Spring I attended a digital detox retreat called the Joy of Missing Out.  It was inspired by the book #JOMO, The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World by Christina Crook and was focused on disconnecting from technology to reconnect with ourselves.  The retreat gave me what I was looking for – a reconnection with my creative self.  I was aware of how technology was affecting my three children; ages eight, twelve, and fifteen but after the retreat I decided to start pumping the idea of a 1970’s summer – mostly technology-free, just like the good old days.

    How To Orchestrate a Family Digital Detox Flashback:

    Successfully sell the idea of a 1970’s summer (or winter, or a digital detox).  This is the key.  Without selling the beauty, freedom and fun of it all, you’re losing the kids before you begin.  Selling points: wagon-building, Tang, ice cream floats, science experiments, watching old movies all day long, building a house out of cardboard.

    Set clear technology expectations. Cameras, yes.  iPhones, no.  Is the digital detox every day of the week for the entire summer?  Establish what works best for you and your family.  We’ve allowed devices on Thursdays, Fridays and half of Saturday.  The rest of the time they’re put away.  Need music?  Use a ghetto-blaster, tape player, Discman – remember those?  They still exist and the kids love them, especially the old tape recorders.

    Have weekly family meetings.  Check in with each other and see how it’s going.  Are there any challenges?  For some it might be losing touch on Instagram for others it may be that they’re losing at Clash of Clans.  Support each child and their emotional needs.

    Celebrate the wins. Celebrate the newness of not having technology and the creativity that comes out of it.  Revel in the fun of it and make it a big deal, because for all of us, it is a big deal to put down a device and not pick it up for almost five days.

    How, is our 1970’s summer going? Groovy, man. From volunteering at O.W.L. Rehabilitation Society to putting on skits and building go-karts with friends, it has truly been a 1970’s style summer to remember.  The feedback from our kids?  Two thumbs up.  They admit they miss their devices, especially the oldest child, but they wouldn’t trade the summer of fun for the world.  The benefits have far outweighed the negatives.  From a mom’s perspective, they are still too young to be connected all the time anyway, so why not have a childhood summer full of adventure instead?”

    How about it? If our Social Chicks’ brood can do it, maybe yours can, too. Here’s to a Summer of Love.

    Vicki McLeod and Karina Cebuliak are the Social Chicks . They offer social media tips and training. Vicki is the host of Everyday Happiness: The Pajama Podcasts and is a business and personal coach and consultant. Find her at www.mainstreetcommunications.ca