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NEW YORK Susan Maushart lived out every parent's fantasy: She unplugged her teenagers.For six months, she took away the Internet, TV, iPods, cell phones and video games. The Burberry Backpack
Kids wake up when mom cuts off cell phones
most people.But she encourages families to unplug periodically. "One way to do it is just to have that one screen free day a week. Not as a punishment not by saying, 'I've had enough!' but by instituting it as a special thing," she said. "There isn't a kid on the planet who wouldn't really rather be playing a board game than sitting at the computer."
"inhabited" media. "They don't remember a time before e mail, or instant messaging, or Google," she wrote.Maushart admits to being as addicted as the kids. A native New Yorker, she was living in Perth, Australia, near her ex husband, while medicating her homesickness with podcasts from National Public Radio and The New York Times online. Her biggest challenge during The Experiment was "relinquishing the ostrichlike delusion that burying my head in information and entertainment from home was just as good as actually being there."Maushart is now back in the United States, living on Long Island with Sussy. Her older children stayed Down Under to attend university.She realizes that living off the grid for six months is unrealistic for Burberry Bags London Online Shop
eerie glow of screens stopped lighting up the family room. Electronic devices no longer chirped through the night like "evil crickets." And she stopped carrying her iPhone into the bathroom.The result of what she grandly calls "The Experiment" was more OMG than LOL and nothing less than an immersion in RL (real life). this week called The Winter of Our Disconnect (Penguin, $16.95), she and her kids rediscovered small pleasures like board games, books, lazy Sundays, old photos, family meals and listening to music together instead of everyone plugging into their own iPods.Her son Bill, a video game and TV addict, filled his newfound spare time playing saxophone. "He swapped Grand Theft Auto for the Charlie Parker songbook," Maushart wrote. Bill says The Experiment was merely a "trigger" and he would have found his way back to music eventually. Either way, he got so serious playing sax that when the gadget ban ended, he sold his game console and is now studying music in college.Maushart's eldest, Anni, was less wired and more bookish than the others, so her transition in and out of The Card Holder Prada Experiment was the least dramatic. Her friends thought the ban was "cool." If she needed computers for schoolwork, she went to the library. Even now, she swears off Facebook from time to time, just for the heck of it.Maushart's youngest daughter, Sussy, had the hardest time going off the grid. Maushart had decided to allow use of the Internet, TV and other electronics outside the home, and Sussy immediately took that option, taking her laptop and moving in with her dad Maushart's ex husband for six weeks. Even after she returned to Maushart's home, she spent hours on a landline phone as a substitute for texts and Facebook.But the electronic deprivation had an impact anyway: Sussy's grades improved substantially. Maushart wrote that her kids "awoke slowly from the state of cognitus interruptus that had characterized many of their waking hours to become more focused logical thinkers."Maushart decided to unplug the family because the kids ages 14, 15 and 18 when she started The Experiment didn't just "use media," as she put it. They Burberry Handbag Outlet
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