Living Like its 1986: Mullet and All
I guess we all know on some level that technology is ruling our lives. Instead of looking up, we look down. We ignore our own kids to check out other people's kids on Facebook. We miss real conversations because we are messaging with the girl from our 5th grade class who moved to Kansas. Why do we care that her cat Mindy is having allergy problems? I don't know why. But we do!
Well, one family, the McMillans, decided to change all that. They felt like they weren't connecting as a family and that gadgets were stealing their kids' childhood. So they packed away their smart phones, tablets, DVD's and any other technology introduced after 1986 and pulled out the rotary phone and VCR! They use real maps, instead of GPS. An encyclopedia instead of Google. These folks have even resorted to entertaining themselves with books. Real ones with paper pages.
Now most have us would have been very satisfied with that kind of sacrifice. Personally, as I write this, I'm feeling a little shaky because my iPhone is in a different room than me but I will somehow carry on. But the McMillans are hard core and they took it even further.
Both the dad and the 5-year-old son have mullets. Yup. "Business in front, party in the back,” he reportedly explained. Yeah, baby! No word on whether the mom wears scrunchies. It would be a serious oversight if she doesn't.
So why 1986? Well, that was the year they were born, so they wanted to raise their kids in the same way they were parented. Of course, they were babies that year but whatever.
And according to the dad, Blair, this one year experiment is working. The family is connecting in real life and they have noticed their kids becoming more creative. He might even write a book about the experience.
I love this family. And not just because of the fabulous mullets. I often feel like technology is an impediment to family life. How can I be present with my kids if I'm constantly looking at my phone? Although as much as the eighties rocked and we all crushed so hard for that hot Tom Cruise guy in Top Gun, I don't want to go back.
But maybe one night a month should be 1986 night. When we put the technology away, open up a frosty wine cooler and pull out the Trivial Pursuit. That I could definitely do.