In our 24/7, digital, mobile world, it can be disruptive and unnerving when the electricity and the networks that keep you connected go down.
At the end of June a derecho , a peculiar and violent series of storms, lashed the Washington, DC, area taking down trees, power lines, and electricity to over a million homes and businesses. Some areas were dark for as long as a week and some cell phone networks had problems. No lights, no TV, no Internet.
Coffee shops and shopping malls with power were overrun with people with laptops, sipping drinks and using the free wireless. Some families drove around in air conditioned cars, with the kids watching movies on the built-in video system. Others got creative and hosted cook outs, played games, read books, or told stories.
How would your family cope? Would you suffer withdrawal symptoms if you couldn’t watch TV, go online or check email?
Maybe it’s time to start a regular media time out. No TV or devices at dinner. No technology Saturday once a month. Fill the hours with sports, games, and other activities. Get used to times without being connected.
Frank Gallagher is Executive Director of Cable in the Classroom (CIC), the education foundation of the cable telecommunications industry. He is a specialist in media and information literacy, internet safety, digital citizenship, and the impact of media on children and is a former middle school math teacher. Image Credit: Microsoft Office clip art collection. [Photo credit: woodleywonderworks on flickr, Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.]