Most people who experienced the 1980s first-hand are probably content to look back on the decade's fashions and technologies with a smile, before returning to their latest 'Candy Crush' challenge.
Evidently, Blair McMillan and his family are not 'most people'.
Blair and his girlfriend Morgan decided to shun all modern technology for 12 months to experience life as parents in 1986 - the year they were born. And this is no half-baked effort, either; the Canadian couple have turfed out all their post-'86 creature comforts, including mobiles phones, digital cameras, internet connection and even clothing. That's right - Blair has committed himself to living in the 80s with denim cutoffs, a moustache, and a mullet that would make Hall & Oates proud.
Blair, Morgan and their two sons, aged five and two, now live in a home that was constructed in the '80s and go about their day-to-day lives the old school way, with in-person banking, cassette tapes, encyclopedias and the formidable task of navigating road trips with those impossible-to-fold paper maps.
Move over, Marty McFly - this is the real-life Back to the Future.
Maryam Shah of the Toronto Star visited the family at their home in Ontario. She reports:
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 and, in the process, unwittingly sentenced his family to a year of let’s-pretend-it’s-not-2013.
“That’s kind of when it hit me because I’m like, wow, when I was a kid, I lived outside,” 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.
Perhaps Blair and Morgan are onto something. With reports of children suffering from iPad addictions (really!) and constant speculation over whether the use of modern technologies can negatively impact a child's development, maybe revisiting the analog age every now and then isn't a bad idea at all. Especially if you take a "shoulderpads optional" approach.