Posted by on Oct 11, 2014 in Articles, Blog, Dinosaur Dad | 0 comments

Is It Time For A “Techno-Tap Out”?

David- title fight

My oldest son, David, at age 18 after he won his first MMA title fight!

 

In the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) world, when a fighter has had enough and can’t make a move or he can’t  fight out of a situation, he has to “tap out”…essentially tapping on the other fighter’s arm or on the  mat and the referee then stops the match.   The fighter has said, ” …I give, uncle!”.

 

Sometimes, we can get so wrapped up in work that we take home or our fantasy football or social media, playing games, phone calls, watching TV….etc, that we find our family time, or what could be family time, is wasted on the technology that surrounds us.  Today we have every electronic convenience and diversion available to us an the download of an app or the touch of a screen.  We can easily fall into the trap of watching the screen, together with our family, and call it “quality time”.  So here’s a challenge….”Techno Tap Out”….give up …..yell “UNCLE!”…a techno tap out!

I have a friend who put a basket at the front door and when everyone comes home, at the end of the day, as they enter the house, it’s a rule that they must drop their phone off in the basket.  This seems a little extreme for most of us, especially if your cell phone IS your home phone, but I think it emphasizes the lengths we may need to go to in order to pull back and take control of our time.

Last year we made a decision to get rid of our cable TV hook up and just keep the connection for the internet.  At first, it was hard to miss some of our favorite shows….I miss “Duck Dynasty”!  We DO  make time to watch certain shows on Hulu or Netflix and even sometimes Youtube also we are fond of Shark Tank.  Shark Tank is one show we will all sit down and watch on the computer, I think it’s a great opportunity to teach our kids about entrepreneurism and the art of presentation….we even invented a home game version! shark-tank1

The times we actually sit down to watch a how on the computer are few and what we noticed was our kids are actually finding time to play more outside, and READ BOOKS!!!!  We have always played family board games like Monopoly, my youngest son, Joseph, and I have gotten embroiled in hours long Chess games and sometimes we have even caught ourselves having lengthy conversations in the living room!

I have to admit that it has been a challenge to not just jump on the computer and surf or start off getting the days news and then checking e.mail a million times, or as I sit on a Saturday in my living room….writing this blog post!  But, the nice thing about not having cable TV and keeping the cell phones in a common place, is that it now takes some effort to waste time.  Now my trap is that I can spend too much time working in my studio or on this computer…..(SIGH)!

 

Mike Austin is dad to 6 children (2 of whom are in their 20’s and on their own).  He is the host/producer of  the daily, syndicated radio feature, “Radio Dad with Mike Austin” and an author and speaker.  Mike’s book, “Slumgullion, Dadly Times in the Kitchen” is forthcoming.  Mike’s wife, Lisa, is a stay at home mom and housewife and keeps the Austin Family Compound in good running order.


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