Technology Tuesday: Taking Instagram On Your Family Trip

This summer, you’ll likely be taking a family vacation at some point.  If you have teenagers, they may be on the reluctant side...  They’re worried about what they’ll miss socially back at home, whether they’ll be 60 miles away or an entire ocean.  But, thanks to social media, they don’t have to miss much.  Or, maybe they have more reason to be reminded of what they’re missing.  It definitely goes both ways.

I recently came across this article entitled   “Instagram is Ruining Vacation.”  

It can easily be true for yours, this summer.  In fact, if you have a child who is of technology age, it could just be that technology is ruining vacation.  I remember, several years ago, the first time I stood in line at DisneyWorld and watched teenagers playing on their ipads to pass the time.  “Really?” I thought.  “Here you are in one of the most entertaining spots in the world, and you can’t leave the gadget at home long enough to be bored for ten minutes in line?”  Now, Disney has incorporated those very gadgets into making the theme park even more entertaining.  They’ve embraced it.  And, while I’m a huge fan of Disney, I’d like to challenge this idea.  I’d like to see kids have to stand in line and talk to their parents.  

I love the folks at Chick-Fil-A for creating the cell phone coops!  It’s a box for families to ALL put their cell phones in during dinner as a challenge.  Each family member who meets the challenge gets a free ice cream cone for successful completion after the meal.  Kudos to Chick-fil-A for helping us put down the all-important gadgets.

What can you do this summer to create your own cell phone coop?  How can you spend time on vacation that’s technology free—whether it’s a block of time per day or an entire vacation?  Sure, take them up to take the picture, but then put the phones down.  Make conversation.  Connect.  TALK.  Dance in the car together.  Enjoy each other.  Have your kids put down their phones and put down yours, too.  We don’t always have to be telling a story to the world at large.  I had one girl say to me recently, “It’s like if it’s not on social media, it’s not real.”  Don’t let your child—your family fall prey to this myth.  It only breeds entitlement, self-preoccupation, and more insecurity.  Tell a different story this summer—a story that is for and with your family.