When phones are turned off

Students, what would happen in your life if you gave up your phone for one week?

The Today Show recently featured one class of sophomores at Black Hills High School in Washington State who, with some convincing, agreed to give up their phones for one week. And while they all agreed that they were initially bored, anxious, or a combination of both, at week’s end, the students acknowledged that they’d gotten more done and had been more engaged. One student acknowledged that he’d spent more time “actually talking to” his family members. Another remarked with some surprise, “I started reading a book last night.”

Not entirely surprisingly, most gratefully welcomed their phones back into their lives at the experiment’s conclusion. But one student now turns her phone off when doing homework and often leaves it behind when she leaves the house. Another turns his phone over to his parents at night to help resist temptation.

The students also mentioned that while their parents are quick to criticize their teen’s reliance on their phones, from the students’ perspective, those same parents are on their own phones as much as–or even more often than–their kids are.

This might be an interesting family experiment to try. Turn the family phones off for one week. If not for a week, maybe even for a day or two. Just make sure that the parents join in on turning off.