Introduction: It used to keep us tied to our computers but now you know we take email with us wherever we go but, is the constant connection to email helping or hurting our lives? To find out we asked a North Texas couple to give it up for an entire week as CBS Eleven’s Ginger Allen explains in part 4 of our social experiment it led to some pretty big changes.
Ginger Allen: David Avery of Argyle spends a lot of time checking his email as soon.
Stephanie Avery: As we come in he has to check the email both home and work email.”
Ginger Allen: While he’s on the computer usually…
David Avery: I’m checking to make sure I get everything answered.
Ginger Allen: A room away his wife Stephanie makes dinner with their son.
Stephanie Avery: If we need help with something we had to call him and be like “David can you open this?”… “David could you please do this?”
Ginger Allen: Both Avery’s agree email has taken over their main form of communication.
David Avery: A lot of the time it’s, you know, easier for me to quickly type it and send it then then get on the phone.
Ginger Allen: But neither realized how much email affected their lives.
David Avery: You know, I hadn’t realized how much I was really sitting in there until she started telling me.
James Robbins: I think they will miss the idea of creating memories together.
Ginger Allen: James Robbins is a licensed counselor for Dallas Whole Life Center. He said he’s seeing more clients who are losing valuable family memories because they’re spending too much time on the computer.
James Robbins: I’ve never heard a single client say “Remember that really great email I got five years ago? We really exchanged a great email during that time.”
David Avery: And maybe where disassociating ourselves from other people where, you know, we don’t have as much one-on-one contact.
Ginger Allen: We asked the Avery’s to give up their email for one week to see what would change.
Stephanie Avery: Oh, I think it’s gonna kill ’em.
Ginger Allen: Four days later when we caught up to the Avery’s at the weekly play center where they work he said it really wasn’t that bad.
David Avery: We’re all sitting down eating breakfast again that’s a little bit nicer.
Ginger Allen: Stephanie says her husband was a little lost at first.
Stephanie Avery: The first day he was staring off into space and I’d say “What are you doing?”… “Oh, I was just thinking.” And I said, “Oh, you don’t really know what to do, do you?”
Ginger Allen: But, before the week was over David was already planning per minute changes.
David Avery: Kinda got me thinking on whether or not I really need to be you know sending emails at six, or will it wait till eight.
Ginger Allen: By the end of the seven days David said he felt calmer and less stressed.
David Avery: I kind of enjoyed the switch and not having to feel like I had to rush in and start working the minute I got up.
Ginger Allen: Both Stephanie and David agree the time with their son, away from email, has been worth it.
David Avery: Now it’s more, I’m not doing things again and getting more active out here playing with Colby.
Ginger Allen: Robbins tells his clients it important for children to see their parents interacting face to face instead of through email otherwise they could pick up the same habit.