Unplugged

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I meant to post this on Monday, after wrapping up my very first Screen Free Week, but alas life got in the way, as it has so much over the past couple months.

What is Screen Free Week, you may ask. It is a pledge I took to stay as disconnected from technology as much as possible for one full week (excluding work and school use).

If you know me, you know this is something I struggle with. Technology is all-consuming and it’s hard not to allow yourself to get sucked in.

I knew it would be challenging, but you don’t realize how much you rely on technology for literally everything until it’s gone. I had to use, get this… a PHONE BOOK to look up the number of a restaurant when booking reservations to take my in-laws out for dinner. You can imagine how much dust was on that thing!

Everything from my grocery list to my banking and to-do lists use a screen in some way. Even as a photographer, I rely on my cell phone to snap pictures of my kids’ day to day lives (my DSLR has a screen though too, so not much better).

I decided right away that it wouldn’t be possible to be 100% screen free. TV and social media were out, but I would allow myself to use my phone for its camera, fitness apps, text messaging and calling, as they are my sole method of communication with family and close friends.

As I said, it was a challenge in the beginning, but not as much as I had anticipated. I only got one or two complaints from the hubby and D asked me maybe three times if he could watch a movie, to which I replied, “We are on screen free week. Let’s go find something else to do.” Not one tear was shed in the process.

I find the concept to be quite refreshing and inspiring, however (for us anyway) it is slightly flawed. To be completely and totally screen free for an entire week would be next to impossible. A week is a long time. Instead of feeling free, I ended up feeling disconnected and even lonely.

I did learn something from my week of screen time reduction, which is a more accurate description. Technology does not replace real life interaction with others and it’s not the only way to accomplish many of the necessities of a modern life. I can write out an old fashioned grocery list or *gasp* open up a phone book once in awhile.

So instead of one week every year, what about one day every week? One day a week to be screen free and allow myself to really commit to the notion, in order to fully reap the benefits.

So my new thing is Screen Free Sundays.

Okay, except when The Walking Dead is on.

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