Family bans technology developed after 1986

Family bans technology developed after 1986

By Jessica Ivins | Posted - Sep. 3, 2013 at 8:27 p.m.



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TORONTO — Yes, we love technology. But do you ever feel like your kids — or even you, if you're willing to get real — are missing out on the world around them because of it?

A Canadian couple recently came to that very conclusion, and went all the way back to the year 1986 to find a brilliant — albeit quirky — solution to their problem.

Blair McMillan and his girlfriend Morgan grew increasingly frustrated by their technology-addicted sons. Five-year-old Trey and 2-year-old Denton were so glued to their parents' iPhones and iPad they showed absolutely no interest in much of anything else.

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The situation reached a boiling point when the boys refused to play outside with their dad — instead, staying loyal and committed to their Apple products.

"That's kind of when it hit me because I'm like, wow, when I was a kid, I lived outside," Blair told the Toronto Sun.

He decided the need for drastic intervention was imperative — and drastic, it was.

Not only are Trey and Denton now living without their beloved i-devices, they're learning what it's like to be a kid in the year 1986 — the very year their parents were born.

That's because Blair and Morgan have placed a complete ban on any technology developed after that year. Go ahead, let that jaw hit the floor.


We're parenting our kids the same way we were parented for a year, just to see what it's like.

–Blair McMillan


"We're parenting our kids the same way we were parented for a year, just to see what it's like," Blair said.

So what does that mean, exactly? Let's break it down.

Instead of using Google to answer life's pesky questions, the family turns to a giant, vintage encyclopedia — gifted to them by a somewhat confused acquaintance in an effort to throw them a bone. They do their banking with a teller in person, not online. Modern computers, internet, cable — as far as the McMillan family is concerned, these foreign things don't even exist.

The family recently made the move into a house built in — you guessed it — the 80s. Inside, visitors will find a bright-pink cassette player and an old-school television set hooked up to a Nintendo. Super Mario is a familiar friend in this home.

Oh, and you'll be asked to leave your modern electronic devices in a little box until you're ready to leave. For real.

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"It feels weird," Blair told the Sun. "It feels like we're really going back in time."

The family recently went on a road trip across the U.S. — sans a GPS. Paper maps did the job for them instead. The kids relied on stickers, crayons and paper to stay entertained.

Instead of documenting their travels on Facebook and Instagram, they developed rolls and rolls of film for an actual photo album (remember those?).

"We're just closer," said Morgan. "There's more talking."

So what on earth does this family do to pass the time? Morgan reads — a lot. She told the Sun she'd read 15 books since they made their pact this spring. Blair — a music lover — told the paper he was contemplating writing his favorite bands for copies of their music on cassette tapes.

And partying like it's 1986 doesn't come without a price — Blair told the Sun he lost his business partner after he refused to use modern technology at work. He's planning to send out handwritten resumes — in cursive — with hopes of securing a new gig.

Blair is so committed to the project — he currently rocks a mullet hairstyle and a bushy mustache. His kids share his same coif. You know, all in the name of authenticity.

The couple plans to live in this flashback until April of next year.

Image credit: Toronto Sun

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Jessica Ivins

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