The year 2020 has had everyone dealing with the curveball that the corona pandemic has thrown at all of us. It has also had us burrowing into screens for work, to study, and also for entertainment! We took to our smartphones to fill the void of social interaction so intensely, that one Indian survey reported that during the lockdown and post that phase, each family member in India spent over 26 hours per week on an average on their phones, managing work and home, and scrolling through entertainment apps. Just the time, we thought, for everyone to take a step back and reconnect with their families by participating in #GadgetFreeHour.
Seconding ParentCircle’s #GadgetFreeHour initiative, the Tamil Nadu Government Education Department has extended its support and has shared the #GadgetFreeHour message by urging teachers and parents, along with their kids to take a break from their hectic online schedules to spend that one hour with their families. Schools and educational institutions, corporates, NGOs, cine stars, sportspersons, and over 50,000 parents have also pledged to go gadget-free for that one hour on November 20, 2020. Everyone unanimously agrees that since the beginning of this year, though we were all home, together, in a sense, we were disconnected from our family members – particularly our children.
With the parents busy working from home and the children with online classes, each has been cocooned in a ‘connected’ world of his own. Therefore, this initiative is very much the need of the hour. It is imperative that parents set aside some time to reconnect with their children and family members without the distraction of gadgets beeping and pinging away.
ParentCircle, felt that the GadgetFreeHour that started a Disconnect2Reconnect revolution of sorts last year, will be a refreshing break for parents as well as children. And so, ParentCircle is inviting everyone to celebrate with us the priceless parent-child bond by participating in the #GadgetFreeHour drive on November 20 (World Children’s Day), 2020 between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. In this one hour, families will disconnect from their gadgets and spend time with their children – playing, talking, eating and laughing together; rediscovering the pleasure of each other’s company in a fun way.
Talking about why #GadgetFreeHour, which aims to impact the lives of over 2 million parents, should become a part of our daily lives, NalinaRamalakshmi, Founder and Managing Director, ParentCircle, says, “To have a strong trusting relationship with your child, you need to have a clear line of communication and connection. For this to happen, parents need to spend quality time with children, free from distractions, especially gadgets and screens. Now, more than ever before because of COVID-19, families are all together under one roof, yet they are alone with their gadgets – either working from home, engaged with online classes or social media. So, it becomes all the more important to set aside special time to spend with children and families, free from gadgets. So, the GadgetFreeHor is an initiative to encourage families to have fun together and discover the joy of being with each other.”
To make this a fun hour for everyone, we have already had the #GadgetFreeHour online contest for children, which saw massive participation. Then there’s the 2020 challenge for parents – a unique challenge that encourages parents to spend 20 gadget-free minutes every day with their children. Parents can support this campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, and spread the joy of connection.