Why you and your children must have a finger on your thumb

in Digital Detox - 5 min read

We have long thought that there is something almost unearthly, but definitely something distressing and quite oddly unnatural in the sense of (relative, presumed and alleged) comfort we get from what is smooth, in other words that is void of texture.


  • silky/velvety undergarment – the weird twist in the sensation of, as if nothing covered our intimacy, hovering temptatiously between morality and promiscuity
  • soft and smooth cotton T-shirts – the familiar-to-us-all feeling of homey and lazy mundaneness
  • spotless wide panes of glass – the bird neck-breaking and nose-banging commonplace we might get entertained by seeing on television, but hate to experience ourselves
  • shiny floors – a breeze to clean, but breathe-y to get up from in pain after it played tricks on our pituitary gland
  • curling – what’s that irritating madness of performing and watching hectic friction for inches of non-friction – and it is non-fiction

And these are but a handful of illusionary situations we deliberately choose to invite in our lives or come across them without giving much thought, but…

Can you agree that doing away with, avoiding such as the above and bringing the sensational sensation of textures back could likely rid our subconscious of the tiresome and unnecessary quandary as to should I like, or should I dislike the lack of tactile differentiation, lack of tactile gripping points, points of reference?

Our intuition likely screams for an escape route while our fingers – governed not by intuition but modern, technocrat taste – reaches for the always same glissando.

Personally, we greatly appreciate – and hope you do too, whenever available – the texture of handmade textile with its weave pattern recognizable in some details against the skin, we love being barefoot and feeling those random unevennesses typical to hand-worked natural materials, be it earth, wood or stone. Light is essential to enter our homes abundantly, yet there are ways to remind us and our environment that there is something solid ahead (fine etchings, for instance).

Defying friction has been a human obsession ever since technology could come to help, like the bobsleds and their chute, or the nanotechnology-aided speed that race-cyclists or professional swimmers can achieve in their newest microfiber outfits. Disturbing…

We feel a lot safer and more comforted when sledding down a slope or street in our laid-back village, our daughter sitting in front, when the runners of the sled can resound texture back to us, to our ears, up through our spines. Then, we feel connected. And that’s the key, perhaps.

Texture connects.

Smoothness disconnects. It introduces a void, a nothingness, a senselessness, a gap between us and reality, between us and nature, between us and us.

The bare skin of a baby is a pleasure none of us could pass on, though, hands down.

With the advent of touchscreens, (un)smartphones, despite their performance in satisfying infomania, we awoke to another glissando. Remember toddlers going crazy around these, obviously not for gathering info-s, but being drawn by the illusory trap of control over something, however meaningless (to them), but acting and acting quick to their touch – most often harmless, but in some instances potentially dangerous.

Yes, we were introduced to, coerced, lured into, or rather onto another smooth surface – a great service and/or a huge disservice. It’s a divisive topic which one is (more) true… Once you buy into this virtual world, for whatever reason, you might find yourself in a hamster wheel and really hard to get out. It might actually seem like in order to lend more sense to your smartphone use you might as well spread it in the family. Like holding hands on the treadmill. Well, nothing could be further from the truth, in fact.

Tandem smartphoning, besides the provider’s discounted prices to you, may well come with disadvantages only.

EMFs multiplied in the household with increased outward effect too, if this level of neighborliness is any of your concerns (because that could easily be extended to the non-human neighbors too).

Being by each other is good, but shouldn’t be confused with being with each other; you, your spouse and your child(ren) might be in the same room, yet worlds apart.

It is increasingly common to see friends having coffee at a café and simultaneously thumbing their own devices in the name of friendship.

If the smell of your family and friends alone is not gratifying enough for you, you have hope!

Few obsessions, like spending ample time in nature grounding ourselves, are physically and emotionally healthy ones, but living the virtual life of screens (small or large) is not one of them. You have to feel it deep inside. If you do, don’t wait for an app to disconnect you from the cyberworld. Your prodigal thumb can do this favor to you perfectly well.

Then gently put this greening, rewisening thumb on your child(ren)’s and enjoy what follows together: the peace and quiet in the ears, in the mind, in the soul. Find out how wonderful it is to breathe together, in each other’s arms, leaning over each other’s chest and beating heart, no words spoken.

Still holding hands, take a long walk, be observant, taking note of the clouds, the moon in the sun-lit sky, feel the air flow around and through you. Make the conscious connection between yourselves and the universe at large. Be present! Again. Your child(ren) will be most grateful for it.

Step it up from here and make true presence a daily event, a gift that, yes, in a very noble sense you owe each other and yourselves. Think about: all animals know it, plants, rocks can’t even help but act, be this way. Much fewer things connect to them than separate from.

Now realize that this desire of reawakening to a fulfilling, nature-centered life is shared remotely by more and more disillusioned people around the world. Also imagine that you and your family, child(ren) could benefit enormously by the uplift of the synergies between stories told personally and face to face by likeminded people who share in with your feelings.

If the backdrop to these heartfelt conversations can be of beauty that further stimulates opening up, what can be better? Not in any therapeutic sense, but as curious people open up to curious people looking for and finding common grounds and socializing like we are meant to be doing from birth, at the level the core personality of every individual allows – no pressure…

You can partake precisely in such experiences if you come this summer to one of our Digital Detox With Us days for Families, here in Breb, Romania, the beautifully romantic low mountains high in Transylvania’s north.

Unwind your clock and block with us!

Roland Magyar

Passionate rewilder, who lives outside of the world of compromises.

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