Local Family Reports “Powering Off” Challenge Success

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - It's a Thursday night and the Baker family is gathered in front of the TV, playing a Disney-version of the Scene It board game in their Madison, Ala. home.

A scene like this one - of the Bakers all together without a host of electronic devices fired up - was rare. Then the family took the WHNT News 19 "Powering Off" Challenge at the start of February.

"It was a long 72 hours but we all did it," said mom Alice, in a follow-up interview with WHNT News 19.

Initially, Alice feared she'd never be able to give up Pinterest. It was hard but not impossible... and she learned something about herself in the struggle.

"I've always thought I did not have an addictive personality but [after this experiment] I think I am borderline addictive," Alice laughed.

Before taking the challenge - which required powering off smartphones, tablets and other electronics as much as possible for 72 hours - son Riley would barely glance up from his Kindle.

He did power down a bit for the challenge - shooting hoops with a basketball machine instead of playing video games.

He also joined the family in a revived "game night" tradition, as well as a family movie.

Alice said the challenge was a wake up call about her family's old way of interacting.

"Just because we're all here in the same house doesn't mean that we're having family time," she said.

She's hoping to make the family activities a common occurrence. She also encourages others to give "powering off" a try. Her warning? Be ready for some real effort.

"You've got to actually try to make it happen," she said.

Click here to watch WHNT News 19's pre-challenge report with the Baker family.

Click here to learn more about the WHNT News 19 "Powering Off" Challenge and give it a try yourself! It's not too late!

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