Tech Free Homes

08/04/2016

Technology has a huge impact on our everyday lives, with TVs, computers, tablets, and smartphones colonising every part of the modern home. While Internet-connected fridges and smart TVs are not going away any time soon, the LED lights, touchscreens, and voice-controlled command systems are slowly driving some people insane. The tech-free lifestyle is all about reclaiming a sense of natural rhythm and learning to make space in life for the things that really matter.

Some brave souls have decided to go totally tech-free when they're at home, leaving computers and smartphones for the office or classroom. While everyone is different, dedicated “unpluggers” are generally looking to avoid distractions, connect with family, and regain a sense of natural peace. Some parents are also quick to pronounce the benefits of tech-free living for kids, many of who have forgotten how to entertain themselves, use their imagination, or interact with the natural environment. Author Richard Louv has even coined the phrase 'natural deficit disorder' to refer to children who develop behavioural problems as a direct result of spending less time outdoors. 

While not everyone has the desire to go totally tech-free, an increasing number of people are putting limits on how often, and where, they interact with their electronics. For example, TVs and computers are being banished to their own dedicated rooms, with the main living space designed around conversation and reading instead of TVs and gaming consoles. Some people decide to make temporal limits rather than spatial ones, including tech-free evenings or weekends where the family can spend time together without distraction.

Tech-free living rooms are a big trend at the moment, with designers going out of their way to create cosy, comfortable spaces that are modern while also harking back to better times. Instead of designing rooms around the TV, fireplaces, coffee tables, and other furniture items can be used to create focused integrated spaces. By making design choices based around people rather than technology, it's possible to create a stylish home that affects the very way that people interact within a space.

According to author William Powers in his book 'Hamlet's Blackberry - Building a Good Life in the Digital Age', it's important to dedicate both space and time to good old-fashioned human interaction: "Designate space in your house as a tech-free zone. Put a basket at the door for cell phones... In the beginning, we had total withdrawal, which made us realise how addicted we were... After a few months, we began to realise all these incredible benefits. It’s like adding a room to your house - a space where you can live differently.”


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