You first have to disconnect when you want to connect!

Did you know you can swim up a mountain? At least that’s what it felt like I was doing as I hiked up a mountain with one other guide, 4 teachers / supervisors and 40 teenagers aged 14-16.

5 Hours of hiking in what can only be described as a deluge. And you know the most amazing part? Nobody – and I mean NOBODY – complained!

There was no internet connection in the mountain inn so their devices were of no use to these we-are-always-connected-kids.

Something beautiful and amazing happened though.

Everyone had a great evening. We played games, had conversations with each other and there was lots & lots of laughter.

As one of the kids said, “It was the best!”

So often we read about lazy teenagers who are always on their devices.

Kids who are snapchatting with the friend sitting next to them.

Parents who desperately try to get their kids off their devices and engage with them.

A growing number of teenagers now says that their internet use is near-constant (source: Pew Reserach Center, 2018).

No wonder that it is often challenging for others, their parents for example, to really connect with them.

And lets be fair. As adults, we too spend an increasing amount of time connected to the internet.

It’s not just teenagers, but adults, parents too that can be hard to get to disconnect and have real conversations with.

You only have to look around at people in restaurants to know this is true.

Luckily, as the overnight stay in the mountain inn made clear, there’s hope!

When circumstances are right everyone, kids and adults alike, are perfectly willing and able to connect.

Especially when they’ve shared the same experience; like hiking up a mountain in a rainstorm.

Now, when you want to connect with your kids, family members or friends, there’s no need for you to hike up a mountain in a rainstorm too.

There are other ways of putting the devices down for a while and create a connection.

It can be as simple as agreeing to have dinner together without devices at the table.

(I hope you noticed I used the word “agreeing”!)

Try it for a while, say 3 weeks because that’s how long it takes to create a new habit, and see what happens.

I’m sure you’ll have plenty to talk about.

And if not, you can always go back to the way it was before.

As always….

Go dare greatly

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