Would your kids leave their smartphone at home during a family vacation?

Tech Talk Tuesday #76: Would your kids leave their smartphone at home during a family vacation?

This week’s TTT is written by my co-producer, Lisa. I’m off on a family adventure for the next few weeks and looking forward to having very limited access to wifi and data. 

FROM Lisa Tabb, Co-Producer, Screenagers:

I just got back from a 3-week vacation with Meleah, my 13-year-old highly social daughter. We have been doing the Tech Talk Tuesdays together for the last year, so there’s a lot of talk about screen time … but even so, she is a social teen who likes to “talk” to her friends via Snapchat, Facetime, and Instagram frequently.  

A week before we left she said: “Mom, I think I’m going to leave my iPhone at home.”  I played it cool and just asked why. She said she needed a break. So, we went old school and turned it back to 2004. 

Meleah brought along a Paperwhite Kindle (only books can be downloaded), an iPod nano (no screen, just a music clip-on), a camera (digital, of course) and a flip phone (for those times she wanted a bit of freedom).


  1. She used the flip phone once
  2. She read five books in 3 weeks
  3. She listened to music and podcasts daily
  4. She took photos, but no selfies
  5. She was present, fun and inquisitive daily
  6. She was NOT looking forward to returning home and had a dream the night before she returned that her friends were mad at her for not communicating. The opposite was true. She returned to people texting and Snapping her about how much they missed her, which made her feel appreciated as a friend.
  7. When Meleah started up her iPhone, she had 500 texts, 15 Snapchat threads (which means that was about 100 actual Snaps -- remember she wasn’t engaging, so had she been home this number would have been 20 times higher), and an untold number of Instagrams.

For this week’s TTT let’s talk with our kids about leaving their smartphones behind for a vacation this summer.

  • How do you think you would feel about leaving your Smartphone at home?
  • How would you feel about being unreachable and out of touch?
  • What would you miss the most?
  • Do you think your friends would be mad at you or understanding?