“Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room. I assure you it is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude” – Miss Bingley, in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Most of technology we use today happens inside our heads. The interactions we have with others on social media is happening inside our heads. Watching a video, reading an article, again, inside your head.
Being in this attitude for long periods isn’t great for the soul, or for your creativity. The best ideas come when your brain is idle, even bored. Ever notice how, after being away on leave for a week, you start having good ideas again?
The purpose of a tech free evening is to get outside of your head into the real world, and spend some time with others, or in nature, and giving you brain a break.
It’s the modern day equivalent of ‘a turn about the room’. (Although Miss Bingley’s reasons were more devious – to show off for Mr Darcy.)
Here are some ideas for a tech free evening.
My favourite at the moment is Sequence.
Scrabble is another oldie but a goodie. We play with a paper dictionary on hand. No tech, remember!
Chess is good too, but can get intense.
The card game 500 is a bit out of fashion, but is something we go back to often. There are two, three, and four handed versions, and you can even play six hands if you’ve got a 63 card deck (with 11,12,13s) on hand. Doesn’t everyone?
The local beach is a favourite of mine, as I find the sound of waves relaxing, and the smell of the sea is also good.
I suggest a stroll, not power walking, as the idea is to observe.
Sometimes we start up a conversation with a random stranger.
Sitting around the fire telling stories is a great way to spend an evening.
This is a great one for families. The stories of getting lost (because no one had a cell phone) will surely delight younger members of the family who’ve grown up with the things.
Couples can talk about how they met, their courtship, and so on.
Conversation about current topics such as politics, climate, and technology.
You can make one exception – incoming phone calls, but keep them short by politely telling people you are at a family gathering.
Tech-free can be difficult if you live alone, and in that case I suggest pairing with a friend.
The prescription is once a week.