May 25, 2011 9:39 PM by Ariel Wesler
In tonight's Your Family segment, we're bringing you part two of our series, Unplugged. Last night, we introduced you to the Kendrick family from Nipomo. We asked the family of four to go five days without using their TVs, computers, or cell phones. We wanted to see what impact these electronic devices have on our daily lives and if we've become too dependent.
Tonight, we're revealing the results of our social experiment. We asked the kendricks to go unplugged from Wednesday through Sunday and use a home video camera to document their experiences. I can promise you it's a week they won't forget.
With a zip tie on the TV and their gadgets off, the social experiment got underway for the Kendrick family. No phones, t-v, or Internet. Day one, so far, so good.
"I did get a lot done at work today, not having to think about texting or receiving texts," said Nancy Kendrick.
"As you can see, we're not all watching TV. Everybody's cooking," said Bobby Kendrick.
By day two, the family was feeling frustrated.
"I did find out that Boston lost last night. So, thanks for that KSBY, I didn't get to see that game," Bobby said.
"We hadn't had that communication during the day, so there was this irritability about everybody," Nancy said.
"I wanna kill myself," said 15-year-old Kaity Kendrick. "You can only go so far with board games and baking."
And as it turns out, the girls weren't holding up their end of the bargain. Mom and dad stepped in and got the big confession on camera.
"I have not used my phone to text," Kaity said. Parents: " Are you lying Kaity? Yes you are!!"
"Gotta be honest," Kaity said. "I did not try not to text. I wasn't giving it up."
The girls had been using their cell phones since day one.
"I kinda caught her texting and felt it would be ok, if I did it too," Bethany Kendrick said.
Remember the zip tie? Well, it was gone by day 3, and without a home phone available, isolation quickly set in.
"You're totally disconnected from everybody, wondering what everybody is doing," Bobby said.
"We had the radio on. All radios on because we didn't know what to fill the house with," Kaity said.
While the girls cracked first by texting, their parents weren't far behind.
"We've pretty much given up on a few things, one is the texting," Bobby said.
"I finally set him a text message and said, I'm over feeling guilty for not using the technology. I miss you," Nancy said.
In fact, nobody made it past day four, free from their electronic devices.
Reporter: The cell phone was a must for all of you? Family: "Yeah, that's what it came down to. Interesting. I didn't see that coming."
They admitted taking away the TV definitely saved time and focused their attention on each other.
"We found a hike that we always talked about doing," Bobby said.
Although the Kendrick's would not do this again and even threatened to put up a dart board with my face on it, they agreed every modern family needs a little break now and then to discover the right balance.
"Take a day and take away the technology and go do something as a family," Nancy said.
"I made choices to implement technology back in my life in the last five days but I felt like each one was for the benefit of my general happiness and the happiness of the family," Bobby said.
Our thanks to the Kendrick family for being good sports during this entire experiment. Therapists say every family is different, but we hope we've made you aware of the potential dangers of an "always connected" lifestyle.
If you'd like to watch part one of our series, Unplugged, just click here.
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