Ski touring the Elkhorn Loop, Boise National Forest, Idaho.

New Year Resolution: Getting Unplugged

In Family Adventures, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   6 Comments

By Michael Lanza

This winter, for the tenth year of the past 11, my family plans to do something we have eagerly anticipated annually for almost as long as my children’s memory reaches backward. It will involve skis, backpacks, and spending four days at a yurt tucked away in snow-covered mountains a few miles from the nearest, very lonely, winding, two-lane road. But the details matter only inasmuch as they steer us toward our ultimate goal: We really go there to get completely unplugged.

We do that mostly for ourselves, of course. But I think we need this notion of disconnecting to catch on more widely, to save us all from ourselves.

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6 Responses to New Year Resolution: Getting Unplugged

  1. Thomas Olson   |  January 3, 2017 at 9:58 am


    Thank you for addressing this evident issue. As a student who recently transitioned from high school to college, I have experienced the frustration of communicating with peers while they are constantly attached to their devices. Not only is the over-attached lifestyle deleterious for proper communication and development, but many of those who are attached to their devices are missing out on wonderful experiences such as those you shared with your children.
    I could not agree more with your article and the benefits getting unplugged, and I hope that others find the same meaning and inspiration from this article that I have.

    • Michael Lanza   |  January 3, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks for sharing those thoughts and observations, Thomas. I hope you have a positive influence on many of your peers. Good luck with your studies.

  2. MichaelALanza   |  December 30, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Thanks Philip

  3. Philip Kollas   |  December 30, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Excellent and thoughtful, Michael. Oh, how I agree!

  4. MichaelALanza   |  December 29, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Hi Ellie, Thanks for such a thoughtful comment. I agree with you. We could obviously start a long conversation about this subject, but I like your advice to parents to get their kids off screens and engage with them. I believe that kids spend a lot of time on screens in part because they’re mimicking the behavior of their parents.

  5. Ellie   |  December 28, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    As a mother of two (6 & 9) and a high-school teacher, I can’t agree more with both your concerns and your proposed solution. In fact, I have even more extreme views on the subject, as I think children, preteens, and adolescents should be unplugged *most* of the time, not some of the time. Being unplugged should be the default mode, not the exception. I especially agree with your fear that young people, who are growing up without boredom, are losing the capacity for introspection. I see it all around me, particularly in the English classroom, where kids are becoming increasingly deaf to the emotional overtones of both others’ and their own experiences. I’m ranting. To all parents out there: get your kids off screens and start taking them outside; give them a book; talk to them.

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