TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - While Americans continue to embrace
technology in all its forms, there is a growing concern that the
proliferation of digital devices in the average home is having an
impact on family togetherness. To counter this, Foresters™, an
international life insurance provider committed to family well-being,
is launching the Tech Timeout™ challenge, a North American initiative
that encourages families to take a daily scheduled break from their
electronic devices and reconnect with each other in a more personal
"Foresters purpose is to champion family well-being and we do that
through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring
community activities," says George Mohacsi, President and CEO,
Foresters. "We are always looking for innovative ways to help families
spend time together and challenging them to 'disconnect to reconnect'
is a simple way to turn our purpose into action."
Families can visit techtimeout.com and take the Tech Timeout pledge to turn off digital devices (including
TVs, smartphones, game consoles and computers) for an hour each day for
one week. Families can use this time to enjoy 'low-tech' activities
like reading, board games, volunteering, outdoor play or just talking
to each other. During the challenge, participants can visit the Tech
Timeout website or Facebook page to share stories about the impact of
technology on their lives - good and bad - their success stories and
their struggles with unplugging and tips on technology-free activities.
Research suggests that fulfilling the pledge may not be easy for North
American families. According to a recent study, the average US home
now has 24 different consumer media and communications devices,
including multiple televisions, computers and smartphones¹ and some
believe this contributes to a sense of social isolation even when
you're in the same room with other people.
Mohacsi understands this and maintains Tech Timeout is intended to get
families thinking about their reliance on technology, not to eliminate
it altogether: "With Tech Timeout, participation is more important than
perfection," says Mohacsi. "The intent is to encourage families to
think about the ways they spend time together in the home and to start
a social conversation about how reliant we have all become on
technology and how we might be missing out on other opportunities."
Some parents have already started to express concern about technology's
intrusion into their family time. According to the Center for Digital
Future, which has been researching this phenomenon for several years,
in 2008, 28 percent of people said that being wired has resulted in
them spending less time with family members, a significant increase
from the 11 percent reported in 2006.²
Foresters has a 138-year history of helping families and currently
partners with family and community non-profits and charities including
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals®, KaBOOM! and Ronald McDonald
The one-year Tech Timeout campaign launches on February 5, 2013 and
pledge forms are now available at techtimeout.com.
Foresters™ is a life insurance provider with a difference. The
fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being
through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring
community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with over
one million members in Canada, the United States and the United
Kingdom. For more information, visit foresters.com.
Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of
Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto,
Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark.
¹Consumer Electronics Association: http://www.ce.org/News/News-Releases/Press-Releases/2012-Press-Releases/Smartphones,-HDTVs-Are-the-Most-Planned-CE-Purchas.aspx
² Centre for Digital Future, USC: Family Time Decreasing with Internet
Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent
Order of Foresters
Ronald McDonald House is a registered trademark of McDonald's
Corporation or its affiliates and is used with permission
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