09 June 2013

Instituting a No-Screen Day

Everyone knows that I spend most of my free time on the internet. Although I refuse to call this an addiction, I have been feeling for a while now that I would like to pull back from using the computer as my main source of entertainment. I'm happy that my kids aren't experiencing the boredom and isolation that was part of my childhood, but I think we are all missing out on other activities.

It's not like I don't want to do other things. The time just gets away from me. For instance, I wanted to work on a knitting project yesterday. I went out to the shed first thing in the morning and got the materials and settled myself in a comfortable area. Then I turned on the computer to get the pattern, and that is when everything went pear-shaped. I started looking at other patterns -- just to make sure there wasn't a better one, of course -- and before I knew it, the clock said 10p and I hadn't cast on a single stitch. For months I've been saying that Sundays are my reading days, but it has been a while since I've spent this day reading a book instead of blogs and news articles on the internet.

I'm not the only one in the house that is going through this. C1 tells me all the time that she wants to be a writer, but the only thing I see her writing is posts on Reddit. C2 says that she wants to go to art school after college, but she hardly ever draws anything that isn't for a school assignment. Then there is DJ, who doesn't have any hobbies outside of gaming. None of my kids have experienced what it is like not to have entertainment on demand at home. They have always had access to something to watch or play. Since I know that this is my fault, I am going to do something to rectify it.

Starting tomorrow, every Monday this summer is going to be a No-Screen Day in our house. This means no TV, no internet, no texting, and no video games. I will let the kids play Spotify or other internet streaming radio because our terrestrial radio reception around here is lousy. The kids haven't kicked up much of a fuss yet, probably because they think that I won't be able to go through with it. What they don't realize is that I actually look forward to days when I have no internet, like when our cable goes out or when we are on vacation. Having that option taken away from me makes it much easier for me to pick up a book or do something else, and I hope it is the same for them.
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