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Hill Country Health Blog

Powering down: Does your family need a technology break?

Nov 22

Written by:
11/22/2016 11:10 AM  RssIcon

Know that feeling when your cell battery is low? Sometimes the thought of disconnection from texting, calls and social media can cause real panic. We know we should have balance, but pursuing it is daunting. 

As we teach our kids about healthy eating and making good choices, we should consider the social health and mental well-being of our families by setting some technology boundaries.

This may seem impractical since we rely on tablets to help with homework and phones to look up recipes - everyday functions that are simplified by technology. But, consider whether there are a few hours in the evening or on the weekend when your family might have a no-tech rule.

Benefits of Powering Down

1. Tech breaks help remove unhealthy feelings of jealousy, envy and loneliness or a fear of missing out. Many people feel dissatisfied with their lives after viewing Facebook and Instagram. Powering down for a few hours provides the opportunity to reset our focus and feel appreciation and gratitude for the great gifts in our lives.

2. It’s tough to find solitude in an always-connected world. Being still and quiet grounds us to our environment so we can evaluate our lives and reflect on tough decisions, real values and rest. 

3. Your family experiences won’t repeat themselves. “Windshield conversations” and impromptu chats are unfiltered and authentic. If we’re preoccupied with our screens, we’re going to miss it.

4. Focus on creating rather than consuming. Creating a great meal as a family, building a yard project or just making a blanket fort can all draw you closer as a team. Passively consuming movies or playing video games takes us out of the creative equation.

5. We may not realize we are addicted to our phone or computer until the object is off-limits. The best way to feel technology’s influence on our lives is to turn it off, put it away and see how strong the urge is to have it back in our hands.

6. Really connecting with other people requires presence, dialogue, body language and eye contact. Yes, we share photos on facebook with relatives and email updates, but our best life memories probably didn’t happen this way. Remove the filter of a screen and see what happens to your relationships.

Talk it over as a family and decide on an evening or afternoon when technology will be shut off for a set time. Plan ahead for those hours to maximize your interaction and creativity. 

Kyle mother-of-two Betsy Brooks shares, “Our rule is no phones at the table, at home or at restaurants. The TV is usually off until homework is complete. We allow computers for homework. As a result, most technology is off for the night and we typically talk for an hour after dinner, which has brought us much closer together.”

Puzzles, board games, yard projects and charades are just a few ways to interact. You might find that your children look forward to no-tech time because they have your full attention. You might find that you are more productive with those found minutes.

Disconnecting for a few hours could be worth it for your mental strength and your family’s bond. Our lives are enhanced by the gadgets at our fingertips, but a full life is built during the precious connected spaces that only we can create. 


At CTMC, we believe that true healing involves caring for the body, mind and spirit. We invite you to learn more about the eight principles of health that have enriched lifestyles around the world. 

Research verifies that people who embrace these eight elements live 7 to 14 years longer. Focus on them daily for your own optimum health. 

R- Rest
E- Environment
A- Activity
T- Trust
I- Interpersonal Relationships
O- Outlook
N - Nutrition

Learn more about creating your own better health with these eight principles by visiting our website:

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Central Texas Medical Center
1301 Wonder World Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666