For the past 20 years, I have been researching how families incorporate technology into their everyday lives, and what benefits and downsides this might have.
From my research I’ve distilled some insights that might be useful for those who are struggling to disengage from technology during coronavirus lockdowns. I enjoyed a recent coronavirus meme: ‘Today’s date is March 87th’. It certainly seems that, since the pandemic was declared, days have melded into nights and nights blurred into days, so that we’ve lost track of the days of the week, or even which month we’re in.
The lockdowns have enmeshed us in intense work-from-home and home-schooling arrangements. Our homes have morphed into an office, laboratory, lecture theatre, school, playground, restaurant and gym in a single package. And the stream of pings notifying e-mails, chat-group messages, social-media comments and replies, productivity and team-management apps just keep coming. Lockdown forces us to multitask constantly. Performing multiple conflicting roles during this period of uncertainty makes it difficult to step back. How can we realistically disconnect to maintain that sense of sanity and headspace, and what have we learnt?