by Patrick McNerthney
In the modern age, our emotional well-being is largely predicated by the availability of outlets to charge our various electronic devices. Take my house, for example. We have approximately 972 outlets, 971 of which are in-use at any given moment, delivering direct power to antiquated technologies like televisions, fans, and lamps – while also providing battery charging power to what’s important: iPhones, gaming platforms, iPads, and the digital portraits of myself I place in every room.
(Is it mission control, or my house?)
These important electronics allow my family to experience general happiness and take pleasure in things like:
- Not missing out
- Disembodied robot voices telling us where to drive even though we already know where we’re going
- Selecting a restaurant, vacation spot, or virtually anything involving a group decision based on complete strangers’ reviews
- Constant “ping” noises
But the truth is, all of this, while thrilling, rarely brings my family together. In fact, what brought us together this past holiday weekend was a 60-quart, plastic Coleman chest cooler.
Take that, tech industry!
I mean, the joke’s on me because I paid money for all of those “important” electronics, but they just make us zombies. It wasn’t until the kids took out that chest cooler, filled it with freezing cold water, and brought out the water guns for a spontaneous, family-wide, multi-generational screaming squirt-gun fight that they actually acted like boys having fun (and we acted like adults having fun).
(Spiritual value, $5,500,000.00)
That’s right. A five-year-old, $38.00 cooler filled with water brought us together, sparked laughter, prompted movement, participation, surprise, and fun. The same can be said for the two-cent balloon I filled up that we bopped around, with the goal of preventing it from touching the ground. Or the $3.00 frisbee we threw at each other in the front yard.
Sometimes the simplest solutions yield the biggest results, and the deepest satisfaction comes from connecting through activities where everyone is involved, no one keeps score, and there aren’t any rules – or electricity.
So what can you do to spark laughter, surprise and fun (that doesn’t involve a screen)? Might we suggest a squirt gun fight, followed up by a round of creative expression?
Okay, since you may not want to get wet, we’d like to suggest going straight to the creative expression part, with Fine Art Miracles. Experiencing our Fine Art Lessons, ART2GO Packages, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, or Dance & Movement Therapy gives your residents and loved ones a chance to play without any boundaries, express themselves, connect with each other, and discover something new. All while disconnecting from the hardships of social isolation.
No plug-in required. All you need is the space to come together. If you have any questions, please reach out! We’re happy to help!
In the meantime I’m going to unplug all those digital portraits of myself. We don’t need that many screens in this house. Although I’ll probably just replace them with good old fashioned, analog, glossy head shots…of me. (Maybe with autographs?)