By Sandra Birungi
The family of McMillans decided to live their life without the huddles and stress of updated technology which includes internet.
The McMillans are unmarried with two children, a boy and a girl. Out of their own free volition, the family decided to live without updated technology; by updated, i mean they stopped updating their technology in 1986, any innovation after that year is out of limits in their home.
Although they have phones, they are dated way back in 1986; they do not have the luxurious iPhones, they have videos, but no DVDs, they have video games, but no Xboxes,, they have photos, but no Instagrams and they have TV, but no cable. Beginning April, the Toronto Sun reports in a profile of the ’80s-tastic Canadians, the McMillans have been doing their banking in person. They’ve been entertaining themselves with books. They took a family road trip this summer, and navigated using paper maps — and kept the kids entertained with coloring books and stickers.
Blair McMillan, family patriarch, has doubled down on his Back to the Future lifestyle: For one very major thing, he wears a mullet. (“Business in front, party in the back,” he explains.) His kids do, too. He is considering producing a documentary and/or writing a book about his year of living fluorescently, the broader point of the technological cutoff. He says the reason for their actions has been to reclaim some of his family life from technology. The “project just to get closer and reunite the family,” McMillan says, has been “working out awesome.”
It all started with a vague sense that gadgets were cheating their children of their childhoods. McMillan says, he was hanging out outside the house earlier this year when he asked his 5-year-old son Trey to join him but he refused as he was too busy with his iPad. “That’s kind of when it hit me,” Blair tells the Sun, “because I’m like, wow, when I was a kid, I lived outside.”
That was when operation de-techify their lives began. They gave up their cell phones, deleted their Facebook accounts, cut the cable and established a box for visitors to stash their phones, tablets, and other gadgets while hanging out in the McMillan home. At work, Morgan uses a computer but Blair took things farther making him lose business. Despite the negative side of it all, things are looking way better for the family, especially when it comes to spending. “It’s way cheaper,” Blair says. Plus, “everybody just gives me stuff.”
They decided to choose the year 1986 because it is the year both Blair and Morgan were born. “We’re parenting our kids the same way we were parented for a year just to see what it’s like,” Blair explains. Although they still own a 2010 Kia, they don’t use GPS.