In a new year-long campaign launched February 5 ‘Tech Timeout‘, Life Insurance provider Foresters is challenging families (and I assume couples and individuals) to take a scheduled break from all electronic devices and spend time reconnecting with each other in more meaningful ways.
The campaign ad features people completely oblivious to other people and their surroundings, while distracted by their tech devices. The clips shows a man entering the wrong house, a girl runs into a light pole while texting, a wife pours steaming coffee into her husband’s lap, and a group of tennis players are oblivious to the game they are supposed to be playing.
The situations while outrageous, aren’t far from the truth. It’s behaviour that most of are either guilty of ourselves, or that we observe everyday.
In a press release to announce the campaign, George Mohacsi, Foresters’ President and CEO said, “Foresters purpose is to champion family well-being and we do that through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. We are always looking for innovative ways to help families spend time together and challenging them to ‘disconnect to reconnect’ is a simple way to turn our purpose into action.”
A recent Consumer Electronics Association study reported that the average US home has 24 different consumer media and communication devices, including multiple televisions, computers and smartphones and some believe the proliferation of these devices contributes to a sense of social isolation even when you’re in the same room with other people.
According to the Center for Digital Future, in 2008, 28 percent of people said that being wired has resulted in them spending less time with family members, a significant increase from the 11 percent reported in 2006.
In my opinion it’s like everything else, it’s about balance, and being aware that while technology can enable us to connect with like-minded people, friends and family on the other side of the world, it should not isolate ourselves from our relationships in the real world.
Whether you participate in Foresters’ challenge, do you think you could take a daily break from all technology devices?