One Geek Family’s Faux Connectivity


Ok. I’m gonna be honest. The past couple weekends I’ve noticed something. The entire family (or as near as you can get with a couple of teens living at home with jobs and/or significant others) is in the same room at the same time…yet, none of us are interacting…with each other.

My wife (my *favorite* GeekMom) is on her laptop, I’m on my laptop, one of the kids is on the Kids’ PC, another kid is on the iPod Touch, another child is on the Wii while the only child not at home is textimg both GeekMom and myself at the same time about staying out later with said significant other.

We’re (mostly) together – but not really.

Image via Creative Commons (mikecogh's photo stream)

Now, we’re in Wisconsin. In January. With below-zero wind-chills…so at some level I claim staying alive vs. going outside for family activities…but I digress.

At another level, I admit I’m disappointed. We’re all alone while being “together”…

We have board games, we have dogs to walk, we have other stuff that would bring us together – yet our first thing is to do our own thing. This makes me wonder – even though we’re texting and Facebook’ing, and Googl’ing all the stuff we’re interested in… are we connected? When it’s easier to type a reply on Facebook vs. turning around and saying the same thing…there might be a problem, right? [full disclosure – the GeekMom and I have used Facebook chat to communicate so that we did not have to have kids sitting with kitchen glasses against the door to our bedroom in order to hear the things that we didn’t want the kids to overhear…]

At any rate, I’m thinking that this coming Sunday, we’re going to institute a tech-free Sunday…

  • No TV.
  • No laptops.
  • No desktops.
  • No iPods.
  • No Wii.
  • No TV.
  • No Cell-phones…
  • no exceptions!

Instead it will be board games, walks, family time…without technology. Not very GeekDad of me, if I must admit…unless we choose to use our Geekiness even without gadgets/technology/stuff…

Now, if you think I’m going to the extremes, I’ve recently heard of a family that has instituted tech-free weekends (Friday nights to Monday mornings)… but you know what, that family might be on to something… dropping technology for a day (or two or three) to really connect now, while everyone’s at home, to appreciate the time (in the *very* near future) when the oldest kids start peeling off – for good.

What do you do to maintain true (not faux) connectivity with your family?

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