You’ve seen it. Groups of people all ‘together’ but all on their phones or other devices. They are with people but not really there. Endless hours spent scrolling along. Being intentional about our time spent with others can make a huge difference in our lives! Putting the devices down and focusing on the people around us brings back the human part of connection and gives us deeper relationships. Listen in as Janna chats with Sean Killingsworth, founder of the Reconnect Movement as they discuss technology and the influence it has on our relationships.
ABOUT OUT GUEST | Sean Killingsworth, founder of the Reconnect Movement creates in-person communities on college campuses to share time without phones, make friends, and just hang out. In Gen Z, social media currently has a monopoly on social connections, meaning social media has become a requirement to socialize. Therefore if you do not want to experience the negative effects of using social media and choose to delete it, your social life will suffer. Reconnect exists to balance this monopoly by providing an easily accessible face-to-face alternative for connecting and making friends. Find out more about the Reconnect Movement here.
Janna 00:00 Welcome to Homeschool Your Way. I'm your host Janna Koch and BookSharks Community Manager. Today I am joined by Sean Killingsworth. He is the founder of the Reconnect Movement. He is a former homeschooled child who is now in college and has a passion for seeing his generation reconnect as humans in this digital age. Sean, thanks so much for being here.
Sean 00:20 Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.
Janna 00:23 I always love to feature students who have successfully had some really good traction with homeschooling and then have gone on to the public education arena and kind of a pat on the back to those who choose to homeschool their kids that it does work and their children are prepared for the things out there in the big scary world. So why don't you just kind of walk us through a little bit of your journey of homeschooling into now where you're at? And then we'll get into the Reconnect movement?
Sean 00:53 Yeah, absolutely. So I grew up as a homeschool kid, my mom homeschooled me until I was in fifth grade. And I eventually was just kind of like hearing about school. And I was like, You know what I like I really want to be around a bunch of other kids. So I ended up going to private school and then public school had a great experience there. But I actually really, really value my time as a homeschool. And you know, now I'm in college as well. And I really value the time I spent homeschooling though because I feel like my peers in public school, I didn't have the same experience as a younger kid that I did when I was just homeschooled. And I genuinely loved learning. You know, I learned for the sake of learning as was my experience, I didn't have to play this game of tests and deadlines and grades and you know, taking, taking all the fun out of learning and like learning things you're interested in. So my mom always kind of did a good job of helping us learn things we wanted to learn. So it really helped in my journey of lifelong learning.
Janna 02:03 Now, when you were in the private school, and then in the public school, did you have moments where you were like, Why did I choose this? Why am I not homeschooling?
Sean 02:13 Yeah, definitely, especially on the transition. Because when I first made the transition between homeschooling to private school, it was well actually, there was a two-week period where I went to a public elementary school. And that was really tough, because my teacher was kind of like, you know, she was just a shaming individual you know, I kind of went from my loving mother to like a teacher that kind of led the classroom through like shame, and you know, kind of things like that. And that was really tough, really abrasive. And I was like, that's a really negative environment to be thrown into. And then we kind of transitioned to a public school. And it was kind of a little better. But there was definitely times where I was like, man, like, this is way harder than it needs to be. Because I knew that I had had the experience beforehand. But you know, there's always you're always creating problems for problems. And there's positive and negative both and things I love about homeschool and things I loved about my experience in public school.
Janna 03:13 As a homeschool high school graduate, I guess myself, I I didn't have the contrast as I was in my teenage years is that that's what I did. And so when I've had my own children, and I've put them we chose to do some public school. And you know, there are there was times where I was like, again, like why, like you said, like, why are you this is so much harder, like this could be I don't get it. Like, why would you choose to do this. And now with our youngest, we're kind of in that we want you to be able to choose because we believe that when you're vested into your own learning, right, you can't can't blame me like, oh, mom's making me do this mom's you know, schools making me do this. And so, you know, there's days where she's like, Man, I should just, I should just homeschool 100% And then there's other days where she's like, I should go to public school and percent. And so we just keep saying like, what is it you want? And she's like, I'm 14. I don't know what I want, but asking me.
Sean 04:04 Yeah, it's, it's definitely, it's an interesting thing. Because there's amazing things about homeschool. And there's amazing things about public school that like when I got to public school, and I told people I was homeschooled. They were like, so you got to like eat lunch, whatever you wanted, and, like, have snacks all the time. And I was like, oh, yeah, it was like, you go to the bathroom or whatever. And I was like, yeah, like, you know, there's like certain things like, you know, those are small things, but like, there's absolutely a give and take with with both.
Janna 04:31 Yeah, and one is not necessarily on a whole better than the other. It really is. I mean, like our podcasts that it is your journey, like what what's going to work for you and your family and some years it works great and other years it doesn't and so that I love that people get to choose. And I love when people invite their children into that process to get feedback on either side. So I'm ready to delve into this movement of yours the reconnect To movement, I am so intrigued by your perspective of what has been going on in our society that I think does touch the homeschool world quite a bit. We are not immune to what social media and the pitfalls that that can bring, although just like you said, there's positive as negative to everything. So why don't you just start with why this movement? You were, you know, you had the idea to start it like what precipitated that?
Sean 05:30 Yeah, absolutely. So for any of your listeners that are just now meeting me, the reconnect movement is a movement, I started in my junior senior year of high school, essentially just an initiative to bring people together to spend time and hang out in a group without any phones present, to kind of enjoy what socializing can look like, just without our devices present. So I, my experience in being driven to create that at my school was started my freshman year. So I went into high school. So excited for for high school, for some reason I had like, I'd watch all these 80s High School movies like karate kid, and like 16 candles, and I was just so excited to you know, go on dates and share milkshakes. And like, there's gonna be flyers for parties in the hallway. I don't know, I just had this vision of high school. So we got there. But when I got into my freshman year, it was very different. It wasn't the same, like, you know, talking back and forth, and like, making jokes and making friends like, yeah, that was happening. But it was all happening through the lens of Snapchat. And Snapchat was like, the pinnacle of everything. That was how you met girls. That was how you, you know, got going on, you know, started dating, quote, unquote, didn't actually go on dates. But it made friends and all that stuff. All that happened on Snapchat made plans and I personally clashed a lot with Snapchat, because it, it was so draining to me, it felt so fake and superficial, and I couldn't really have a conversation with someone, and I'm trying to look good in a selfie while just trying to have a conversation. And so I kind of went on that journey, didn't enjoy it, and then I got rid of it. So I got a flip phone, I got rid of my iPhone entirely. I was like, Cool. Problem solved time to live my karate kid in high school dreams, you know. And what I quickly discovered was when I got rid of my phone actually became more isolated. Because I went to school with no phone, to run away to no social media presence to take part in, while everyone in my school had their phones and was using social media and Snapchat to relate. So I was alone, it was even more alone, because nobody was just talking in person, everyone was on Snapchat. So I realized that just me putting my phone down wasn't enough to create what I needed. Because whenever I looked up, I just looked up to other people that were looking down. So in that moment, is when I knew that it had to be a group of people that all shared the intention to put away their phones when they were together.
Janna 08:11 How was that received?
Sean 08:14 Negatively To be honest, and negatively at first, at least, maybe that's just what I paid attention to. There were absolutely positives as well. So it was it was definitely a given take. So there was at one point a, like a account making fun of what I was doing. I had a little mini podcast where I interviewed some girls who heard about what I was doing, and decided to delete Snapchat. And so I was like, oh, and that we were just talking about it. And I found it really interesting their responses. And so I did a podcast interview with them and posted it on YouTube and posted on my Instagram. And a bunch of people in my school watched it. And this person created an account called unconnected movement, and followed all the people that followed, reconnect, and then like posted this thing, like making fun of our podcast saying like, phones are good, blah, blah, blah. So there was that aspect of it, where people were like, This is dumb, you know, who cares? You know, it's high school. So people do that. But there were also people who messaged my Instagram, the reconnect Instagram that I made, which seems ironic, but you gotta go into the matrix to pull them out. Right? So there are people who message saying, man, like I go to this high school. I wish someone was doing this at my school, you know, like, I wish everyone could think this way. You know, phones are keeping us from each other. You know, we want to be able to talk and people reached out with their experiences. Absolutely. So it was it was like I was speaking to other people who had an experience like me.
Janna 09:37 Sometimes as a parent, and I think that's one of the great things about us having this conversation so parents can can hear the other side of it because when you and I were talking before you're you're explaining this, you talk to will talk about this oasis that you saw and I I can't connect with it. I don't understand it because even though my peer errs, busy moms, co workers, friends, we all have phones. And I think primarily we text right? Like, that's our biggest like, we think, oh, you know, we need to put our phones on we're texting too much. But it really is not the same. We still meet in person, I we go for coffee, we go for a hike, we do stuff together. So I have a really hard time envisioning this generation that is so you know, in their phones are part of who they it's an extension of who they are. So, when you're talking about this, and you're trying to explain to parents, so I think that your message definitely resonates with your generation, because they're like, yes, someone finally is explaining how I feel or why I feel that and as parents, we're like, why do you feel that way? Just put your phone down? Like this is dumb, you know, like, go outside? I don't understand. So let's just talk about like awareness. Like what what do parents need to really understand, to help them themselves kind of reconnect with their children who are maybe not even aware that this is happening to them this disconnection?
Sean 11:05 Yeah, absolutely. Fantastic question. Perfect, because it's exactly one of the largest issues here is the unawareness and the and not ignorance in like a bad way, like, Oh, you're ignorant, just like ignorance to the problem. Because I was ignorant to the problem. When I first faced it, I thought, if I got a flip phone, the problem will be solved. And I'd be all good. And that's where most people go, most people's first instinct is, oh, well just put your phone down, you know, and you'll be fine. But that what reconnects speaks to is when you put your phone down, there isn't anywhere for you to go to socialize. So it's not like you put your phone down, and then you join back into this bustling social life, you know, that, Oh, it's just waiting there for you, you actually put your phone down. And it's like, really hard to talk to people, because people are so using their phones so frequently. And in person, the place where you are meant to, you know, put your phone down and go back in the in person social landscape is so affected by phones, because when someone is on their phone, how are you going to talk to that person, they're just screaming, like, get away from me, I don't want to talk to you just like, you know, with their body language and their their social cues, without saying anything, even if that person would really want to talk to you. They're showing you that that they're not like open. So that on a mass scale has created this new environment, which I have called the wasteland. And it is a wasteland of social connection. Because we are ignorant to the problem that we're all creating. Because my generation just kind of adopted these apps as an extension of ourselves without thinking, you know, like, Oh, these are cool, great. You know, meanwhile, behind the scenes, they're all you know, designed to addict us and take as much of our time as possible. And none of us are really aware of that either. Most of us aren't aware of that, either. So we're being affected by these apps so deeply. And it's gotten to the point where it's affected the the interweaving things that are supposed to, you know, host connection. So the things that are supposed to host in person connection, like, for example, walking into your school courtyard, and like looking for somewhere to sit. Like, if there are people having a conversation, maybe you could join into that conversation. But if you're walking into a courtyard, and everyone's on their phone, it's like, wow, I genuinely am alone. Like, there's no one for me to even like, approach, you know, so the wasteland is created because of it's an environment. So that's the key distinction, like you're saying, so to speak specifically, their question, what do parents need to know about this to kind of shift that perspective? So it's not about a kid screentime a kid's you know, how much they're on their phone, they're watching YouTube, even Instagram, and YouTube and YouTube are addictive. That's not even the, the really the problem, the real problem that I'm addressing is bigger than those factors, it is the environment that is now set in because these devices have been adopted. Because these devices aren't going anywhere, they do a lot of good things. And there are net there will be a net positive, but right now, it's the environment shifts to an online social environment, rather than in person social.
Janna 14:15 You had mentioned, you know, this, the the environment and I had heard you say on a previous podcast that when somebody even is in the present with you, so I'll say parents, I'll say Parent Child FIRST, parents will talk to their children while their children are looking at their phone, right? And vice versa. I feel like that that's kind of an etiquette thing. Like people just eat your family. So I don't care what you're looking at, hey, I'm talking to you. And even if you don't look up, I'm still gonna still gonna make a connection. So right there. I think it's hard for parents to realize that outside of the home, there's a different dynamic, so kids aren't going to just start talking to their peers with that phone is in their face. That's a That's a big wall, that I don't think necessarily as a parent, I understood, because of my kids talking on the phone, I'm just going to talk over, it doesn't matter, right. And I know my kids will do the same to me if I'm on the phone. So that's an interesting distinction, I think that parents need to be aware of that it isn't just how it is at home, it's different it is, it's intimidating. And then when you are in a conversation, if someone gets a notification and picks up their phone, what that now communicates up, stop, like you're not important, right? You something else just came up. Now, sometimes, again, as a working parent, my kids will be like, I was talking to you. And I'm like, I know, but technically, I'm in work hours, so you're gonna have to stop. So again, I think parents just kind of think differently when their children are interacting, they just assume that that carries over into their social world. And it doesn't that communicates to a child, an adolescent, a young adult, oh, something better just came up, I'm not important, or now I need to pick up my phone, because now I'm staring at you and you're on your phone. And it's awkward. I mean, there's so many things that I think we just take for granted.
Sean 16:09 It's just a human thing. It's confusing. It's, it's hard, you know, because one of the ways that it shows up for me the most consistently and it was so frustrating when I was kind of dealing with this or wrestling with it with my flip phone. Before I'd started reconnecting, I was around my friends, they all had their phones, was I would be in a group of people. And we would all be, you know, supposed to be we got together to hang out, like all my friends. And we would be sitting around, you know, we'd be joking, or whatever. And then all of a sudden, you know, someone would go on their phone, and then another person would kind of see that. And then they would go on their phone. And so there might be a group of five people. But now there's only three of us. Because two people have left, they're gone, you know, and now there's only three. So I would always think and sometimes silly to sometimes it's and I've even found myself, especially when I had a flip phone, I was alone. I was like everybody's gone. What happened? And then how am I supposed to break that? What am I supposed to say? Hey, stop, stop chatting, that girl you like, you know, hey, stop, you know, stop responding to your mom's text. Like, it's just, it's the environment that is the issue. So it's not, it's not that I can as a peer, as as my peers, I can't be. It is offensive to them for me to say, Hey, can you get off your phone for me? Because they are offended and hurt? Like, what am I doing something wrong? And then I'm offended and hurt because they're not spending time with me. But really, they're just trying to live their life and their, their phone is a part of their life. But it's having this effect. So that on a compounded scale all around the entire generation has created a wasteland of connection because there's a barrier and the barrier. You can't you can't get past it unless it is it people become aware of what's happening. Because right now there's just mass ignorance with with that, where when you ask someone to get off their phone, they're not like, oh, yeah, that's right. Because, you know, phones are a barrier between connection, I totally get it. I'll put it away for a second. Like, no, no, like, they're just like, what you don't want me to text my mom, you know, and so like creates this whole barrier. It's like, Dude, I know, I was just trying to have a conversation with you. Yeah. So that's kind of what we're facing. So reconnect, setting that intention, when everybody gets together, they know that we're getting together to be up our phones to talk. So that that can create that oasis in the wasteland of uninterrupted connection where we can just breathe, and relax and connect.
Janna 18:31 It also mentioned something about like, as a shame cycle. And I think you just kind of demonstrated it in your example. It's like, I'm not trying to shame you, because you are on your phone. And while you're in my presence, but it definitely can come off as shaming, especially in a parent child relationship. When it's like, oh my gosh, what's wrong? You guys can just put your phones on and go play like what are not even play? I mean, I know you guys probably don't play anymore, but you know, do something productive, like in? It's almost like, No, they can't, because they are so unaware of what's happening, that they're even in the cycle. And I think that as parents, we probably compound an ad add to it by adding another layer of this shame like, Oh, my parents think I'm spent too much time on my phone. My parents think I'm addicted to my phone, you know, what am I supposed to do? And it's, it's, it's kind of your, how you get out of it.
Sean 19:26 Yeah, it was. So there's a disconnect there. This is a really important thing, I think for parents to kind of get in the, in the perspective of and try and I know it's tough, because it's kind of like, you don't know what you don't know. So it's so foreign to a lot of parents because you guys just didn't grow up with these devices. And this is such a new thing for the whole world. But our generation is the test dummies. You know, we're kind of the first ones to have a growing up. So like I said in the past, if I'm asking my friend to get off his phone, you know, he could be talking to the girl he likes on Snapchat because that's where you do that now he could be be having conversation with his long term friend from Michigan where he is best friend from his last school he was at, you know, he could be listening to music, which he loves to do, you know. So it's like you said earlier, it's an extension of us. So with, you know, to understand that it's not just some demon act, you know, whenever you're, whenever you're on your phone, and someone's trying to talk to you, like, let's say, parent child, like child's on their phone, you know, the mom, or parent wants to talk to them, rather than just seeing it as a complete barrier, like having reverence for what that means to your child. Because that that device is your child's social life. If you were to like a lot of parents take their kids phones away, taking your kids phone away, and grounding them in that way, would literally be like if you're in the 80s, and you're like, Alright, you're not leaving the house for a month, and you're not allowed to see anybody like, that is literally what it's like, because you go back to school without a phone, immediately, you're isolated the way I was without when I had a flip phone. Everyone's making all the friends, the the plans to hang out in Snapchat group chats, everyone's talking and catching up by seeing each other's Instagram and Snapchat stories. So you are excluded from your social life entirely. You don't know what anyone's doing, because everybody's already caught up before no one has to go to coffee to catch up. So everyone's caught up from their stories and their Snapchat in their Instagram. And nobody really like talks because they've already talked on snapchat all day. So it's just like, the level of importance that a phone truly does carry. And having reverence for that fact, is important, I think probably as a parent, to kind of be like, Alright, hey, like, you know, is there something you can wrap up? Or like, what are you up to? You know, like, what do you what do you do it, like, have some curiosity like, enter into what's going on. And you might, you might find that they're just like endlessly scrolling on Tik Tok, and then you can, you know, set boundaries from there. But if they're, like, you know, talking to their crush, or like, something like that, like, that's not something you want to shut down. But it's through this interesting, weird medium, where you're like, shutting everybody off from the outside while you're doing it. So it's confusing, but it is it does carry a lot of importance in in kids lives.
Janna 22:14 I liked that you had mentioned to all offer alternatives. So it's not I had an example of I went to go look and see what my kids were doing. And there was about five of them. They're all about 1617. They're all downstairs, they're all on their phones. And I walk in I'm like, this is the literally the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Why are you guys on your phones when, you know? And of course, I admit, I started the shame cycle. And, you know, you had said, you know, what about offering alternatives. So as a parent, instead of just removing what you see, as the like, it's a demonize that the device, like what it is offering alternatives, like, you know, for my girls in the summer, it's like, hey, why don't you guys grab the paddleboards and go out on the lake? Like, is there? Is there a hike? Did you guys wanna take a hike today? Like, it's nice out, like, Oh, got warmer out, you know, like, offer these ideas instead of these, you know, it's kind of hard to be on your phone, when you're hiking, you certainly really shouldn't be on your phone when you're on the lake. I mean, there's so many things that instead of taking it away, just saying, hey, you know, this might be really fun. You know, when they're littler, it's a little easier, because you're like, Hey, I just made a scavenger hunt. Let's go do this, you know. But I feel like if parents lay the groundwork, even now, as they have little children, they're homeschooling, and they have a little bit more control over their environment. And when they get their devices and how they use their devices, knowing that they're going to be putting their children into a world that this is a reality, this is going to be their reality. And so if we can help our children now, kind of navigate it, and say, oh, yeah, you know, we a balance, it's all balance, right? Like, don't, we don't have to be extreme. We don't have to say, no devices. I mean, there's definitely research that says delayed devices. And I think that's, you know, fabulous. Even with our girls, they're probably ashamed for me to admit, I did not let them have Snapchat or social media until they were 16. I mean, it was like, like, just don't do it. Don't do it. But if you're already there, then let's find alternatives. Let's be you know, be the parent that lets everyone come to your house and watch the movie. You know, when I was a kid in the 80s. TV was demonized. It was like this idiot box. Don't let your kids watch too much TV. And now I'm like, Man, can we just watch TV together? Just I mean, the irony is hysterical to me.
Sean 24:47 Yeah, absolutely. It's, I mean, that is definitely a key thing. I'm glad you brought it up. And it's, it's because it's wild for parents to imagine. But The level of, you know, change that has occurred in social structures, like, for kids now, and even high school, you know, adolescence, you know, like, you know, is your kid, it's like, oh, play outside, when you're a teenager, it's like, let's talk, let's hang out. But like, that's what people want to do. They want to like, talk and hang out or whatever. And so like, in the 80s, or in the 90s, it was like, Yeah, we talk like, what else are we supposed to do, we have nothing else to do we talk, we talk all the time talking is normal. So if you put a bunch of kids in a room, they would talk that was like, a normal thing. And it was like a no brainer. Like you don't if you don't think about talking, just talk. But now, talking is like a step, like talking is you have to like, talk to someone like that is a step of connection. It's not the ground, the baseline, baseline is silence, like glances. Like, that's literally what it is like up from your phone. So you got to think like, if you have a group of kids, let's say all your kids are downstairs on their phone. Very common, by the way, growing up through high school, there was tons of times where I'd find myself in a group of 10 people, everybody be on and off their phones, kind of like talking about what's on their phone, and like showing people stuff and like, that's like what it is. And you know, it's not great, but there's a place for it. So if you just depending on the group of people, like if you have a group of five kids, and you take away all their phones, just like snap, they're all gone, they're gonna be like, they're literally like, probably not going to know what to do. I mean, siblings might be different, but like, genuinely, that is a thing. Like, you can't just put them together, and they'll talk like, that's why alternatives are so important. And that's why it reconnected events. I when I when I host these colleges, so I have reconnect clubs, at Rollins and at UCF, and I'm starting up another one at UF, and this coming spring semester, and whenever I have events with college students, there has to be a thing. And it seems so crazy, but like, I can't just have people sit in a circle and talk, you know, like without their phones like that just Kitt. Like, eventually we'll get there. But like, and I have an event called just talking, but it's very much proctored talking like I have to guide people through conversation, because it is not something that is innately in in our social structure anymore.
Janna 27:15 Or a person who talks for a living this information blows my mind. But I do you believe that I can't be the only parent who this this is, this is news to us, right? Like, we we just this isn't, it isn't our culture, it's not how we grew up. And I think every generation says Back in my day, you know, I think that's part of like, we, it's just part of life, we all are going to do it. But I think that like you had mentioned the beginning, the jump with technology has been exponential to we can't keep up. And so the jump between our generation with the generation before us, the gap wasn't that big, right. But now, all of a sudden, it feels like there's this chasm that has in common between us. And again, if we're just talking about parents who have younger children, they are still going to be peers, with these with this situation, like it's not going to go away. And so you had mentioned to to create community without phones. So kind of walk us through what, as, as a young person, what that would look like for parents with younger children coming into this?
Sean 28:27 Absolutely. So there's different levels of what can be done, because you know, not everyone has an extra tons of hours to like, get together a whole parenting group that you know, creates like no phone Hangouts for all of your kids. Like, that's not always so feasible, it's really hard to plan that, you know, and it takes like a really strong leader that wants to do it and take a lot of time out. So if you can't do something like that, because that will be the pinnacle. It's like one parent being like I'm holding space, once a week for us and all the parents to get together and hang out with other phones and all the kids to hang out with no devices, because it has to be a group, the group is the thing because then eventually the kids will start playing. Because I noticed that at reconnect events too, is like, at the beginning, everyone's kind of exchanging glances doesn't know what to say. But 20 minutes in after everybody's realized that talking is okay, and talking safe, they have a blast, and they love meeting people they want, they don't want it to end. So you'll know like that'll that'll happen, but it has to be a group and nobody has said so that would be like pinnacle. You know, creating that Oasis once a week or once a month or whatever. But not everyone has time for that. So a smaller version of what you can do is like let's say you have you know, your your child has four friends over for a sleepover, you know, and you are the parents and they're over at your house. And you tell your group of five kids you've got you know four friends and you know your, your your children and you say like, Alright guys, you know what, you might hate me, but you guys gotta go take a hike and I'm going I'm going to hold on to your phones or something like that, or maybe like, talk to the parents. And I don't know how that necessarily go over, you know, because I'm not a parent, I don't know if they can if other kids can fight that. But I think if you're a parent, and you're like, hey guys, one hour, you guys hang out without your phones. And then you take it, you just play the bad guy, and then maybe get in with your with your kid and be like, hey, like, this is going to be great. Like, you guys will have a great time. If we if I, if I don't allow you guys to be distracted by your phones, just trust me. And then you'd be the bad guy for your kid. And then maybe your kid could be in on it and be like, Alright, guys, come on, like, let's do it. And then they would the the goal, though, is to create that space. Because once they're in it for an hour, it's going to fly by, they're not even going to notice that their phones were gone in 20 minutes after they're having great conversations. And so if you can do that for you know, the goal will be longer than an hour, because then it'll really set in because that that two three hour mark is when time just disappears and they like really forget about the distractions. But that would be the probably the small version of creating like that mini Oasis, because they'll remember that it they really will like I was talking to Joey and Heath from go borrow the phone box. And, and they were talking about how their daughter like kind of bad has been a leader when they have sleepovers. It's like Guys, let's put our phone in the ARO box. And they'll just stay up all night talking. And all their friends are excited to come over and do that because they've had that good experience before. So that'll plant a seed with your kid and their friends that like oh, this is pretty sweet when we hang out with that our phones, because they'll come around.
Janna 31:33 Again, I think back when I was a kid, my parents didn't want us playing video games. Like our biggest problem was like in screen was like a video game or or TV. And I know that with with my girls, when I have suggested alternatives. I'm like, Don't you guys don't You don't need to exercise. How about we do just dance? Why don't you guys put in Just Dance? Or do you guys have Mario Kart? Like I'm encouraging my kids to do the things that my parents discourage me from doing. And yet, this is where we're at. And then I can hear him laughing and they're always they're having good time. And so I think that another another suggestion is just board games. I mean, you have those kids that are playing Monopoly, you've got two hours to three hours right there. Right? If he's to say, hey, this comes in at the table, we're going to start a board game, your phones can be on the counter, you know, if your parents need you, I would say as a parent in this generation, maybe go and talk to the parents prior to enforcing something in in a sleepover or something like that. But same thing like Hey, I say at our house, like hey, at our house, we don't have our phones at our dinner table. And we definitely have that house where like, we have meals with our kids, friends, like people come to our house at you know that my house, there is a meal every night of the week, and it's on the table. And so I have had no child say, I can't do that. What do you mean? What do you mean, I can't have my phone at your dinner table. I mean, kids, people are respectful, they understand you're not, you know, you're not asking them to do something that is harmful, but it is creating that space. And so we ended up having these ridiculous conversations. Intergenerational conversations we had, I have friends that come from families that have opposite views of ours. And so we really encourage them like, Hey, if you don't agree with us, that's okay. Like tell us, you know, you don't have to just mimic what we're saying. That can actually bite you in the butt with their own kids as as they get older, because you want them to have their own opinions. But then that can get a little crazy. But we've never had an argument at our table with guests. You don't I mean, like we've had our kids friends there, and they, and they keep coming back. And so it's so small little things, that if people see that your family is doing it. I know that is something as simple as just having dinner like not everyone gets to have dinner every night, at their table with their family. That's just something that we always did. It was modeled to me as a kid. we've modeled it to our girls, and they're like, Do you know how many of our friends don't have dinner together as a family like this is this is like countercultural to them. And I'm like, That's blows my mind. But okay, I'm glad that we can create space for them to come see that. And so it's it's funny, because they think as parents, we want to implement these great ideas. But if we're not willing to model it ourselves, it's really hard for our kids to have a buy in.
Sean 34:26 That's a good point. I haven't thought about that perspective. So they're there. I'm sure there's lots of playful ways for you to integrate you as well into the no phones, like maybe that would actually help if you're asking them to hang out without their phone. Like, you know what, all right, I'm gonna, you know, maybe you lead like like a little arts and crafts or a little makeover thing with them where you, you give them you get a bunch of crystals and stuff and you kind of show them how to make something and you know, something like that where you're like, Alright, I'm putting my phone away too. And we're all going to do this and you kind of create a fun container for that. Um, or, you know, maybe some families have like a boat or something where they're like, Alright, we're going to do like a lake de, you know, we're going to go out on the tube or something like that, and I'm gonna leave my phone, you know, we're gonna leave our phones, you know, and probably going to need to check with the parents, before doing something like that, you know, when children are involved and stuff like that, because, you know, we survived, you guys survived just fine without phones. But now with this sense of security with a phone, people get uncomfortable without having their phone. But I would say also, when you're doing something like this, I think that the real magic is when the kids can kind of feel like they are choosing it themselves. So when, because, for example, if you're at school, and your teacher tells you guys to put your phones away, all you want to do is grab your phone, not even because, you know, you don't want to spend time with your phone, but just because like, man I want on my phone, I would take my friends, you know, it's like, you can't tell me what to do, you know, that kind of thing. But if you can find a way to foster that, where they enjoy the time without their phones almost have their own doing, you know, and even if you kind of help help guide that, but if they end up there kind of like enjoying it on their own. So like, rather than dinner, which is dinners, amazing, you know, like, no phone dinner, that's going to be my practice whenever I have kids, absolutely. And if you can try to find a way to give them the gift of hanging out amongst themselves without their phones for a little while and trying to give them an activity to do. And, you know, maybe tell them hey, by the way, remember, the entire time you're gonna be there, I'm not gonna have my phone either. And maybe you go do something with your husband and you guys hang out or whatever, without your phones, and then you guys check back in. But if somehow they can experience it on their own their own peer socializing without phones, I think that's where the real magic is, as well.
Janna 36:52 I agree, I'm, I'm been super excited to have this conversation with you just to really get these ideas out there and get parents thinking because, like you had said in the beginning, we don't know what we don't know, if we're unaware that this is happening. And it is no fault of our own were parents who work who are raising children who are trying to be involved in society, you know, that we produce active members, as we are, you know, raising our children. It's, it's first and foremost on awareness. And so I just want to thank you so much for what you have contributed to your communities, and that you're getting this word out, and this movement is growing. For other people, I love that if we can get it moving on, you know, upstream with this next generation that's a little bit younger, that maybe they won't have this the same struggles or as deep of struggle, as you have had with your peers. I think that prevention is obviously the best policy there is, before we go on, do you have a homeschool hack you can share with our families.
Sean 37:55 So first off, I want to thank you for what you're doing with Homeschool Your Way because, you know, homeschool is a beautiful thing that is, you know, not everybody has gotten the chance to experience but is an absolute staple in who I am. And I am so thankful for the time that I was homeschooled. And I thank you so much for you know, encouraging families and being a resource for families to give their kids that experience. So thank you, for that, and homeschool hack. Um, I would say, playing outside is my homeschool hack. Because while I do remember, you know, the love of learning and be you know, feeling uninhibited to learn number one I wanted, what really genuinely sticks with me as well is just all the playing outside. Like, I played outside so much. And it was, you know, and Ginni could talk about this for hours and she's more of an expert on this, but it really trains your brain and it is a you become a student of, of nature and a student, just a student of like experience as a kid. And it's so formative physically, mentally, just like there's something about just being curious and going outside and playing climbing trees and, and jumping off of stuff that just makes you feel empowered and makes you feel like, you know, you're meant to be a human. And I would say playing outside is a was a key part of my homeschool experience. And I would hope that there is plenty of time for all your homeschool kids to play outside.
Janna 39:35 And I would piggyback on that and tell parents that take the opportunity to reset yourselves by going outside. And sometimes you do just need to climb the tree and jump off again. I mean, I know that we get to a point at an age that we're like, oh, I can't do that. It's not dignified. It's not I don't know why we think these things but it's like, no, it's okay to paddleboard and fall into the lake sometimes and Let's laugh and there is no, you know, I there was times when I saw my girls having so much fun and I thought, why am I not having as much fun with them? Like, why am I sitting over here on the shore and not in the water playing and having? You know, I don't know, it's like so for parents to like, guess get outside, let your kids play, but play outside too. Don't ever lose that sense of wonder because it is. It's beneficial for all of us. So I hope that our listeners take that to heart. Shawn, thank you so much. We appreciate it. We will have your Instagram and your podcast linked in the notes so that those who are listening can can hatch with you and get more information and just kind of follow you and see how your movement does and we are rooting for this to go nationwide.
Sean 40:47 Absolutely. That's the goal. The goal is to have every college give their students an opportunity to have a phone free oasis in their social environment.
Janna 40:58 Well, best of luck to you if that I appreciate you coming on. Thank you guys. Until next time, bye bye