D – Digital Detox

beach father and son

Out of curiosity, I searched for the word “detox” in Pinterest this morning. I can’t tell you how many results I found—too many to count. I even found a board dedicated to detoxes that includes an astounding 1,137 pins!


What’s the lesson to be learned here? No, the lesson I’m going for has nothing to do with lemon juice or kale. What I drew from this quick search was a clear sense that people see the world we live in as TOXIC.

A toxin is usually defined as something poisonous, something we’d want to stay far away from. Somehow, though, we humans acknowledge that many things around us are toxic, yet we don’t stay away from those things. In many cases, we embrace those toxins. At some point, though, we go searching for a recipe to detox our bodies, to rid us of the effects of those poisons.

I’d like to offer up my own recipe for detoxing today:

  1. Turn off TV, cell phones, video games, and any other digital devices.
  2. Go outside.

Obviously, I’m focused on our overreliance on digital devices as the “poison” in our lives today. Like many other toxins, even while we bemoan the impact of these devices on our relationships and family lives, we can’t help responding to one more text and watching one more movie. I’m guilty of it, too. I took my phone out to take a quick picture and then just had to respond to a bunch of email messages, too, taking my attention away from my kids.

What effect does digital media have on kids?

In 2010, the Kaiser Family Foundation released an often-cited report claiming children between 8 and 18 spent 7 hours and 38 minutes a day focused on digital media. Much research has focused on what the impact of that large amount of digital interaction has been. While there are some positives (access to information, entertainment and communication), findings have included many negatives:

  • obesity
  • depression
  • ADHD
  • violence
  • self-esteem issues

While I’m not suggesting you remove all digital devices from your children’s lives, an afternoon outside or a weekend camping trip could be a great opportunity for a digital detox. It’s a good time to talk, reconnect, and remember what life was like before we become addicted to technology.

If you’re not quite ready to entirely unplug, the National Wildlife Federation has put together this presentation with ideas for incorporating digital media in your outdoor adventures—sort of a best of all worlds situation:

What’s your favorite way of digital detoxing? 

Read more of my Blogging From A-Z Challenge posts: 26 Reasons to Take Your Family Outside

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28 thoughts on “D – Digital Detox

  1. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in front of the TV and watching the movie, “Steve Jobs–” while typing on a Windows based computer. It’s hard not to see the irony in all of this. So, I’ll be sure to get my sons outside tomorrow (and myself) for some detox time. It appears I really need it. Thanks for reminding me about what is really important.

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    • I do’t think I realize how much time I spend connected to technology until it’s not readily available. We tend to camp where there are is little cell service or any other luxuries, and it generally takes me a day or two to get through the withdrawal–the need to check my phone. That’s when I realize how important those detox times are!

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  2. I’ve actually never done a digital detox and I’m unsure if I could! I’m hoping to try it out one day. Happy A to Z and looking forward to your future posts!

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    • I’m not sure I would have experienced life without gadgets if it hadn’t been for camping in places where there is no cell service or anything else. It definitely takes some getting used to, but it’s nice to have an excuse to ignore everything else for a while. Thanks for stopping by!

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    • Young kids are so much better at getting away from the devices. We adults need to learn from them, I think! 🙂 We’ve forgotten how to play ourselves without technology to entertain us.

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      • Very true. I tend to want to curl up with a book whenever I get free time, so I need to regularly remind myself that being outside is worth the effort. The weather forecast finally shows warmth for the week to come, so I’m determined!

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      • I’m so aware of that tendency to watch TV or play video games with my own kids. It’s especially tough here in the winter. Fortunately, my kids are still young enough that I can influence their actions, so they don’t have much choice when I tell them we’re going outside. I’m hoping those become habits that will help later when they’re older. We shall see…

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      • It will help if they get the good example from you. When I was young I did not like to go outside much. I had to because I helped on the farm to tend the animals. Today I still love to go out early in the mornings.

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  3. I would like to offer reading a book as a way to detox as well. You can read inside, outside or even in transit as long as you aren’t the one driving. Not everyone can go outside every day. So if you can’t get outside, or exercise, read a book. Learn something new. Even fiction teaches us. Choose your book carefully as to not bring in more toxins but there are millions of them available. Enjoy the A to Z!
    @ScarlettBraden from
    Frankly Scarlett

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    • I entirely agree, Scarlett! My family has a summer ritual where we pick up a bag of popcorn from a local gas station, head to the park, and read under the giant oak trees. Those are some of my favorite moments. Of course, then we usually end up running around playing tag to work off the popcorn coma! 🙂 Thanks for wandering over!

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  4. I hate schedules, but schedules have saved me from too much time online, connected, whatever. The hours between blank and blank. For my kids, the time after school (track practice this time of year) is for homework, then games or online interaction. Right before bed, they read. It works for us.

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    • We haven’t gotten to the point yet where we have a firm schedule for technology, but I can see it’s coming. I think my husband and I need that schedule as much as the kids do because it’s so easy to grab a phone to check something and get lost for fifteen minutes–not good!

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    • Thanks for saying hello! Hope your A-Z Challenge is going well. I see you’re a writer. Do you ever write outside? I write on our back porch on occasion, but I find I get distracted too easily! 🙂

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