I’m suffocating. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel as if the Octopus of Electronics has all eight arms around me and I can hardly breathe. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I write a blog, make YouTube Mom videos, maintain my own website, have two email accounts, and I now carry my iPhone everywhere I go except into the shower.
And I know it’s a wonderful era of spreading the gospel via social media. I applaud that, and try to use if for this purpose whenever I can. BUT… I also feel a little too connected sometimes. I see the same photos you do, of crowds of people with their heads down, texting, instead of interacting in person. I worry about the sorts of things kids see and send, and the cyberbullying that goes on. In short, I have days when I want to throw it all out and scream, “Enough!”
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, and I’ve often urged other writers to turn off the noise and just think. How can you generate original thought if someone else’s thoughts are pummeling yours all day? Even in the car, can we not drive two blocks without the radio blasting? Can’t we have some quiet time—somewhere—where we could receive promptings, comfort, and inspiration? At what point do we unplug?
I have a plan. I propose that, once a week, we have Phone-Free Home Evening. Surely, during FHE we all put our phones aside, right? But what if we started it even before dinner, and left them off until bedtime? Imagine: An entire, blissful evening without our gadgets. You could write an entire Dr. Seuss-style book about this:
No typing, no Skyping,
No ringing, no pinging.
No checking your notifications or blog.
No customized ring tones that sound like a frog.
No passcode, no plane mode ,
No Pinterest, no Craiglist,
No Wi Fi or selfies or tweeting or scrolling.
Instead we’ll play games or sing songs or go bowling.
If this sounds as dreamy to you as it does to me, give it a try. Make friends with your family members, have fun together, actually talk, and see if there’s something to be said for actual, instead of virtual, relationships. Believe me, all your messages will wait in that ever-present cloud that encircles the earth with data, ready to rain down a deluge of communication. But just once a week, let’s huddle under an umbrella and stay dry.
(Unless it’s Family Home Evening!) Watch the music video of Hilton’s song, What Makes a Woman, from her new musical, The Best Medicine (with music by Jerry Williams). Her books are available here. Hilton currently serves as a Relief Society President.