We live in a world that’s more connected than ever thanks to the internet. And there are many positive aspects of our internet-interwoven lives—checking in with far-away friends and family with only a couple clicks; shopping faster and easier, allowing more time for more important things; providing a lifeline between many employer/employees and teachers/students during COVID-19 “stay at home” orders; and so much more.

However, with the internet making it so easy to be constantly yet indirectly connected, we may miss time connecting with others in person. In fact, too much screen time can even have negative effects on your health. Here are some ways you can enjoy time with friends and family and share some off-line experiences by “unplugging to connect” this summer.

Screen-Free Zones

Designate one or more screen-free zones at home. The dining room, kitchen and back yard are great places to start. Simply remove any items with screens from these areas, and make a rule to leave phones, tablets and laptops elsewhere when you enter these areas. Aside from enjoying meals together without digital distractions, encourage some no-screen-needed activities also—like preparing family meals together, holding cooking show-inspired challenges like creating the best ice cream sundaes, or planting and tending to a summer garden.

Pro tip: Encourage kids to get on board with this idea by asking them to create “Screen-Free Zone” signs to hang in the designated areas as reminders for the whole family.

Weekly No-Net Nights

Choose one night a week to stay logged off the internet. You might declare a certain time in the afternoon to log off or make a run for no internet after supper. Replace video games with board games, web surfing with a cruise around the neighborhood or to a family activity center, or go on some nighttime nature hunts with flashlights. This may quickly become the most looked-forward-to night of the week.

Pro tip: Continue these no-net-nights throughout the entire year to continue enjoying unplugged time, either as a family or on your own.

Anti-Social Sundays (Or Any Other Day)

For many people, social media makes up most of their screen time during the week outside of work or school. Commit to at least one day a week to totally log off social media accounts, and encourage others in your household to do the same. Use the time to connect in person with those around you instead of virtually with others on social networks.

Pro tip: Use this day for in-person social networking instead—join a volunteer organization, community club, team sport or other activity group to promote meeting new people and personal interactions.

Webless Weekend

This one’s a biggie. Plan an absolute web-free weekend vacation or staycation. Plan relaxing or fun activities with no data-driven diversions. This might include camping, visiting friends and family, going to an amusement park, or simply delighting in a fun-filled and restful weekend at home. Have a phone handy, but limit usage for emergencies and taking photos only—even during the car rides to and from your destinations. Enjoy untethered freedom from any connection to the world not immediately around you. You can post or send the photos you’ve takes after your sabbatical’s end.

Pro tip: For next-level internet independence, extend this idea to even longer vacations.

Reliable Internet When You Need It

We hope your able to try one or more of these ideas for unplugging to connect in non-internet ways this summer—maybe even year-round. But when you do need a fast internet connection you can rely on, GVEC Internet is to meet your household’s network needs. To learn more about GVEC Fiber or Wireless service available at your location, call 699.4832 or check our Internet Availability Map.

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