Life post screen free week


Screen Free week ended with a viewing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on Saturday night. We huddled together on the couch and all sighed as the television glowed and the familiar theme song filled the living room. And just like that, screens were back in the daily rotation... 

To be fair, we'd all used devices on and off all week. Mostly for work and school, but also for communicating with friends via email and various messengers. This year, we were reminded of how often necessity dictates device usage, from paying bills to knowing the details of a homeschool get together, to simply finding out the weather. 

The weather cooperated and last week we were able to spend quite a bit of time outdoors. The kids each sanded, primed, and painted a piece of furniture. We hiked with friends twice. There was an afternoon at the beach that ended with the first faint sunburns of the year... 

We had a good week, though I found myself longing for Instagram. For Pinterest. For ways to zone out which didn't take much attention or concentration on my part. 

The funny thing is, those things I longed for, actually make me tired. I reintroduced all of the above starting Saturday night, and it's exhausted me. This week I've paid attention to my moods before and after I scroll through pictures and words, and I'm not pleased with my findings. I'm irritable. Tired. Worn down, emotionally. 

I've given this a good deal of thought. As an introvert I need to be cautious about how I spend my energy, and while I think social media is a good way for an introvert to find community, participate in conversations, etc... it's still energy, and I'm still expending it by using my phone to scroll, by being at the beck and call of texts and messengers.

Don't get me wrong, I love the connections made through blogging and Instagram. They are true and valid and worthy of attention and love and provide many positive things to my life. But... I think there's a valid case to be made about how social media and the internet can interrupt the flow of life, while at the same time providing connection. It's all about how we use it, and why. 

Attention, intention, and responsibility are all words that have been floating around in my head the past few days. 

As a family, we've declared Thursdays to be Screen Free Day each week. We're going to keep the conversation going about how we use our devices, and try to be more attentive to the people around us instead of our screens. It's a challenge, especially as technology keeps moving forward and is proving to be a bigger part of our lives than at least I had ever imagined it would be. 

And let's be honest, having the world at our fingertips is amazing... provided we don't let it stop us from getting ourselves out into the world. 




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