No internet? No problem, family says

Blair McMillan holds a map he uses instead of a GPS in his car. McMillan has rid his family of all technology, living his life as he did in 1986

Credits: Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun


GUELPH, Ont.-- If you ever need to know who was the prime minister in 1960 and you’re willing to wait 10 minutes for the answer, Blair McMillan is your man.

He’ll thumb through a volume of his vintage encyclopaedia set, donated by a bewildered soul who probably wondered why the 26-year-old father of two couldn’t just get an Internet connection.

Blair and his girlfriend Morgan, 27, are pretending it’s 1986.

Their house has banned any technology post-1986, the year the couple was born.

No computers, no tablets, no smart phones, no fancy coffee machines, no Internet, no cable, and - from the point of view of many tech-dependent folks - no life.

The family started shunning technology after Blair asked his son Trey to join him in playing outside.

Unfortunately, Trey opted to continue swiping his tiny fingers on daddy’s iPad.

“That’s kind of when it hit me because I’m like, wow, when I was a kid, I lived outside,” Blair said.

The plan is to continue living like it’s 1986 until April 2014.

“We’re parenting our kids the same way we were parented for a year just to see what it’s like,” Blair said.

Morgan, who admits she thought her boyfriend was “crazy,” now devours books to pass the time and only uses a computer at work. She swears she has never cheated on the family pact.

“I remember the day before we started this, I was a wreck and I was like ‘I can’t believe I have to delete my Facebook!’” she said.

She has read around 15 books since beginning the challenge in spring.

Stay-at-home dad Blair can’t listen to the latest in house music anymore and is briefly considering writing to his favourite bands for cassette tapes.

He also experienced a form of phantom pain for the first few days after giving up his cellphone.

“The strangest thing without having a cellphone is that I could almost feel my pocket vibrating and I wanted to check my pocket,” he said.

It took weeks for him to shake the feeling that someone was constantly texting or calling him.

Now he’s a “nuisance” to his friends, he said.

“It’s so nice to be able to go out and nobody can get a hold of you,” Blair said.

The change has been good for their family’s spirit as well, Morgan said.

“We’re just closer, there’s more talking,” she said.

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