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6 Reasons your family should do a digital detox in the new year

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Scrap the digital overload for an enriched family life this year

There's more to life than pixels and clicking the "like" button.

That's what I've heard, anyway. I'm currently sitting in front of my computer screen and missing out on sunshine and smiling faces — but 2015 has me thinking about the ways my family might enjoy our lives a little more if we dared to go on a digital detox.

1. We could enjoy a crackling fire

Scrap the digital overload for an enriched family life this year

Image: Giphy.com

How is it that my living room features a flat screen television as wall art? It's not. It's a black screen hanging above my fireplace, unless it's turned on and sucking the energy out of my household. With a digital detox, I could actually sit in front of a crackling fire and cozy up with my daughter for intentional quality time, rather than numbing our minds with the glow of a screen.

2. We could peruse family history and photographs

Scrap the digital overload for an enriched family life this year

Image: Giphy.com

All of my family's digital albums — whether stored on a social network or an old-fashioned hard drive — are frighteningly inconsequential. With just a click of a button, they could all disappear in a moment. If I dared to step away from the digital cataloging of my family, I might actually create or flip through a real, touchable photo album.

3. We could talk without fear of dropped calls and misunderstood texts

Scrap the digital overload for an enriched family life this year

Image: Giphy.com

My life often feels like the absurd home of misunderstood text messages and emojis, not to mention my daily experience with dropped cell phone calls. Without the weight of my cell phone, I could actually hang out with friends in person, or connect with distant family members with a more substantial method, like a reliable landline. VTech has quality cordless phones that come with speaker phones, so you can carry on a conversation and actually hear the person on the other line.

4. We could recall the joy of real mail

Scrap the digital overload for an enriched family life this year

Image: Giphy.com

It feels so good when I open my mailbox to receive a postcard or letter from my parents or boyfriend (I can dream, right?). With a disconnect from the digital world, I might even feel tempted to send love notes or cards to loved ones in far-flung places.

5. We could have energy for exercise and laughter

Scrap the digital overload for an enriched family life this year

Image: Giphy.com

Sad to say, I tend to feel grumpier and more exhausted when I'm dialed in to my digital life, and the zapping of my emotional energy has a way of stealing energy from my daughter. When my phone is off, I'm more likely to run around with my kid at the park and really enjoy the freedom of exercising with her.

6. We could read an actual book

Scrap the digital overload for an enriched family life this year

Image: Giphy.com

A friend recently asked me what book I last read and I had a hard time coming up with an answer. Sure, I read a lot — but my reading is mostly blog posts and online news. If I dared to put down my phone and computer, I could rediscover the joy of a real book and perhaps even teach my daughter about that joy. Maybe you could, too.

What would you gain if you put down your digital devices for just a day or two?

This post was sponsored by VTech.

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