Last week I went “screen free.” Our local Christian radio station challenged listeners to go “screen free” for a week. Apparently there was a national (United States of America) challenge to get off smart phones, computers, tablets, and television for a week. Last week…
I learned some valuable lessons. It was a good thing. It was a hard thing.
Lessons learned from screen free week…
1. I cannot really be “screen free” entirely. I tried. I had to check my email though. Work, children in school, and online orders “demanded” my attention. I did only check it though from time to time and briefly. I did more deleting…less reading. However, the school does email important messages…it is May…the end of the school year is approaching. I had to sign up “online” for this coming Friday’s teacher appreciation breakfast. I’m bringing an egg casserole. No more paper sign ups here…it’s all online folks.
2. I missed music. We listen to Pandora and our iPod in the kitchen. I considered that tech/screen too though…so I resisted it…until the end of the week. I really missed the music. I opted to put it on anyways. Our family likes music…it was for ALL of us. 😉
3. I have the internal desire to post/share random stuff…too much stuff…God knows…I do not need the whole world to know.
4. A week without Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram…it was fine. Really…truly…fine. Other friends joined me. Even my sister…we found we got more done…less of the time suck and more of the doing.
5. Doing more things was possible without screens in my face. I was able to play with our boys more…I was looking up not down. I was able to talk with my husband more and “play” as we call it here. Evenings were filled with TV…not this past week.
6. Our kids followed suit…like parents…like children. With me doing less screen time…I got more real time with our boys. They sat on the couch was I read real books. They talked with me more…I listened and talked more too. We swam in the pool for hours last week. Seriously…hours.
7. My husband followed suit. We did not text unless it was necessary. He called me. That was great…that was unexpected…especially at 12:22 on a Wednesday.
8. Texting was “necessary.” I have a few girl friends who are linked to me by text. They work…I work part time. We text as not to interrupt work, but to latch on to our girl friends by day and night! I did text last week. Only to a select few though…and only when really necessary. For example, I have a mom friend with two year old triplets…she is all hands on deck. She sometimes cannot answer the phone…but she can text…you get to that when you can. Texting is a good thing…sometimes…but it is not the only thing.
9. My smart phone still came with me. It was always there. We always have a screen near us so it seems. I wonder what it would be like to be in a country with no screens. Freeing right?
10. We are free to be screen free. It is a moment by moment choice. What do you choose? Screens or real life interactions? Do you phone a friend or Skype/Face Time them? There are some beautiful things about technology…but snail mail is still lovely. Notes dropped on door steps do matter. And, screens are taking time away from so many good things. Yet, they give us good things too. You are reading this thanks to…yes…a screen.
You are the one true God.
Forgive us when we find idols in screens.
Give us the strength to yield.
Image from a post from last year 2013 screen free blog post from Toddler Approved.