September 11, 2013 – Blair McMillan and his partner Morgan Patey of Guelph, Ontario were fed up with never being able to peel their two and five-year-old sons away from iPad, cell phone, and television screens. So, they decided to take a trip back in time and live like its 1986 until April 2014.
McMillan became worried when he realized his children were becoming too familiar with technology and never wanted to go outside to play like he did when he was young. "I used to live outside, playing outside, and I realized how different my kids are," he said.
"My five-year-old would almost associate family with what mobile phone they had in their pockets. Say, for instance, an uncle would come and he knew he had an iPhone, he would see him, do a quick hello and reach into his pocket because he would want to play on his mobile games."
Their house is now free of all devices that were invented after 1986–the year McMillan and Patey were born. That means no cell phones, Internet, computers, tablets, TVs, or DVDs. "I basically wanted to mild it around my household when I was growing up," McMillan explained.
The family is even turning their wardrobe and hairstyles back in time. All three boys have a mullet hairstyle and Patey wears an 80s hairdo. All four family members wear 80s-style clothing as well. McMillan even grew a moustache inspired by the lead character in the 80s television show "Magnum P.I."
Now instead of sitting in front of the television set during meals the family sits at their table and talks to each other during breakfast and dinner. The kids go play with their dog after school instead of watching cartoons on the 24-hour cartoon channel they used to have.
Not everything is perfect now, though. During a recent road trip to Minneapolis (which was navigated by paper maps) the boys had to entertain themselves with stickers and colouring books–and it wasn't pretty. "
It would have been a lot easier to hand them a DVD player when they were both screaming about sharing stickers in the back seat of the car," McMillan said. But the family hung in there and stayed true to their new lifestyle.
Do you think your family could survive living like its 1986? Do you think it is a good idea to step away from technology like this family has done, or do you think what they did was a bit too extreme?