Friday, February 3, 2012


Recently my witty and wonderful mother-in-law came back from a restful vacation with a gift for my daughter Molly, a new book! Knowing how much my children love books (and not just ibooks!), it was no surprise to see Molly's excitement as she asked me to read that book before bedtime. I'll be honest, bedtime reading is actually one of my favorite times with my kids. They love to 'read' to me and we love to read to them, especially with their growing interest in ibooks and various apps out there which encourage kids to read in a techy way. Tonight would be different, I would start thinking more about bedtime...withOUT technology.

"Goodnight Moon" is an all time favorite with many readers of all ages around the world. How clever of author Ann Droyd (love the author's name related to this story) to write a parody for the 'next generation titled, "Goodnight iPad".

I won't give away the whole story--go buy a copy (yes printed) for yourself.  In summary, it is a realistic view of many households today. Every human connected to their own little device in their own little world.  Images of parents, siblings of all ages playing, reading, using their interactive technology piece in some way as the 'fed up old woman' observes in one room all the random social activity happening without anyone actually being social with each other. Sound familiar?

Be honest-whether you live alone or not, everyone can relate to being a room with other humans and not even glancing their way as you interact with you smartphone, iPad, laptop, gaming system, etc. We all have been there and continue to engage in this type of activity.  Unfortunately, the consequence of  keeping up with our world results in the missed opportunities in having a face-to-face conversation with others. How about noticing what IS going on around us, instead of reading about it, blogging about it, texting about it, and gaming in a virtual world?

It's ok, I'm guilty, too

As you have probably predicted, the household eventually goes to sleep in the story, reluctantly unplugging themselves. How nice would it be to carve out a time each day to unplug, say 'Goodnight iPad' and be social withOUT social media?  Maybe there are those of you out there who practice this activity religiously--good for you. I know all of us could work on spending more 'real' time with each other.

Related to sleeping and technology, the National Sleep Foundation found from a recent survey (2011) that 47 million people are sleep-deprived.  When the group surveyed about 1,500 people across four generations — Gen Z (ages 13-18), Gen Y (ages 19-29), Gen X (ages 30-45) and Baby Boomers (ages 46-64) — they found that 95 percent frequently used some form of technology, from TV to texting, before bed. See the connection? I see in this more of a disconnection...

I challenge you (and myself) to UNPLUG can start by reading "Goodnight iPad" (or one of your favorites) with someone special...then get some sleep!

Statistics from The National Sleep Foundation: