11 June 2013

Revisiting my teen years on No-Screen Monday

Yesterday was our first No-Screen Monday, an attempt to pull back a little from our constant use of tech as a source of entertainment. This meant no TV, no internet, and no smart phones. I did allow the use of the internet to play music because I never would have gotten through my childhood summers without music.

The purpose for this experiment hasn't been solidified in my mind yet. I realized this when I watched C1 spend the entire day listening to an audio book on her iPod. She effectively isolated herself from the rest of us and waited out the day. I hadn't said that this day without screens was about family bonding, so I couldn't really fuss at her. When I was her age, I spent a lot of time on the other side of the house from my siblings and pursued my own interests, so I certainly understood the urge to do that. Heck, I was done with family togetherness after about an hour myself. Still, it seemed wrong that C1 spent the day that way.

I thought about my teen years a lot yesterday. I kept trying to remember what I did back then when I wanted to look up some information. For instance, the kids and I were playing Dutch Blitz and they wanted to keep score. I couldn't remember the scoring system and the instructions sheet wasn't in the box. The urge to get on the computer and look up the rules was strong. It didn't help that several things I looked at yesterday had URLs or QR codes on them, suggesting that you go to their sites for more information. I guess when I was younger I just wondered about things or waited to see if I could find the info at the library.

One unexpected aspect of this experiment was the change in our energy levels. I was so tired that I wanted to cry at one point. DJ kept saying that I was trying to sleep away the day because I missed being online, but I swear that wasn't the reason. I had been looking forward to turning everything off. I had an audio book, an audio French lesson, and some knitting to keep me busy, yet all I wanted to do was sleep. DJ, on the other hand, was bouncing off the walls. He made short work of the one book I checked out for him and was anxious to play cards with me. He kept joking with his siblings and running around. Perhaps being on the internet calms him down, while it keeps me awake -- a multipurpose drug.

All in all, I think our first No-Screen Monday went well. I just have to remember to print out all the rules for games and any other reference material I need before next Monday.
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