7 Tips for Setting Up a Tech-Free Zone in Your Home

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated March 23, 2022
woman relaxing In living room while reading a book
Photo: Martine Severin / photodisc / Getty Images

Learn how to give your eyes a break by creating tech-free zones throughout the home

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Between smartphones, smart home technology, and even wearables such as watches and rings, it seems hard to escape technology at times. That’s why some homeowners are creating a technology-free zone in their homes as a way to tear their eyes away from the screen and give them some much-needed relaxation time. The goal is to get everyone in the house on board with the idea (which may pose to be a little more difficult when there are little ones in the home).

These zones can consist of a dedicated area of the home (such as a library) or little areas of the house (such as the dining room table or bathroom). Though ultimately, where you want the tech-free zone comes down to you.

5 ways to create a tech-free zone, including picking convenient zones of the home

1. Set Up Reminders

Whether it’s a physical reminder or a verbal one, try your best to create reminders in any tech-free zone. This can be something simple such as a sign in the specified area or if you catch someone in the zone (or someone catches you) to simply remind them that there’s no tech allowed in this area.

2. Download Focusing Apps

OK, sure, this includes using technology, but it’s a great way to deter yourself from leaving the area to pick up your phone, computer, or tablet. Certain focusing apps block incoming notifications such as texts or game notices. They may also gamify the app and reward you for not picking up your device for a certain amount of time and punish you if you do.

3. Create Ways to Stimulate the Brain Without Technology

couple playing chess at home
Photo: Giorgio Fochesato / Westend61 / Adobe Stock

Tech-free zones don’t necessarily need to be “no fun” zones. Start creating a library of books, set out board games, or even create a nice, cozy spot to take a nap. Either way, make yourself comfortable in these areas as a way to occupy yourself while you’re away from your tech.

4. Decide on Zones That Are Convenient

There’s nothing stopping you from creating multiple tech-free zones in your home. For instance, you may want everyone at the dinner table to talk and not be on their phones scrolling through social media. This can be an easy place for everyone to engage with one another without thinking about reaching for a screen.

Picking spots such as bedrooms as a tech-free zone makes it a little more invasive and you’re likely to receive more pushback this way.

5. Create Boundaries for Everyone in the Home

Before you follow through with the idea of tech-free zones, consult everyone in the house to create appropriate boundaries. For instance, if the kids need to do their homework in a space that’s usually designated tech-free, give some leeway. It may also be inconvenient to take off items such as smartwatches, so silencing them or switching on a “Do Not Disturb” mode should be acceptable.

6. Set Up Time Frames

couple hanging out in the living room while on the phone and computer
Photo: fotostorm / Getty Images

Tech-free zones don’t need to always be tech-free. Set time frames where it’s acceptable to use technology in an area such as the living room, where there are gaming consoles and live television. But, say, after it hits 9 p.m., there’s now no more tech allowed in the living room, allowing everyone to settle down for the night.

7. Don’t Get Angry If Someone Forgets

In an age of technology readily available at our fingertips, it’s expected to see a relatively large learning curve with tech-free zones. If you or someone is caught with their hands in the technology cookie jar, simply remind yourself or them about the new rules.

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