I wasn’t on the computer much this weekend…and that was my goal. I challenged myself to disconnect from those items that require power cords, batteries and screens and this really was a personal decision. I wanted to make sure that I was listening to my kids and being with them…actually BEING REAL with them rather than just physically in the room with them while looking at some screen.
I remember when my husband first got a smartphone. I remember it very well because I was angry. I wasn’t upset because I didn’t have one…I was upset because I was no longer in the room. Physically I was there…but the eye contact, the communication, the listening aspect had all deteriorated. The phone was constantly being stared at and it was downright rude. At some point in time I also got a smartphone and have realized that I too have morphed into a screen watching human…rather than a human that truly interacts with other humans. 🙂
A few years ago I was working with a group of teens where we met a few times a month, had speakers talk with them and just had a good time connecting with eachother. We had a tough time connecting though because they were focused on who was texting them or sending them a message…and we made them put their phones in a basket if they wanted to stay. These were teens so their phones were all blinged out and just crazy with colors and individual awesomeness. Can you picture what that might look like? Whatever you are picturing…go one more step…we are talking bedazzled all the way here. The funniest thing I heard when I said, “Today your phones are going in a basket and you can pick them up at the end of the night.” was, “But how will I find my phone?”. I really was wanting to say, “Seriously?!” but I held my tongue.
This is a challenge though that we can do…at home, when we are out, when we are at friends’ houses, family, etc. We have all seen the coffee shops and restaurants with signs that say…”Put your phones away while eating” or have a basket for you to place your gadgets. The art of finding our phone is not the challenge here. The art truly is finding out who we are…finding out who those are around us…finding out what truly is going on in this world that is moving right by us…not the one that is stuck on what seems to be a status feed update refresh.
The entire challenge that I worked on last week was with rules that worked for me. I encourage you to take a week yourself and just disconnect from the screens…and challenge yourself. This might be super easy for you…or it will challenge you to the core. If you’d like to try…just start with 1 day of only using the devices at specific times of the day and just see if you have a desire or a rush to pull towards those items. See if you are truly listening to those around you…or just try to make eye contact and have a conversation with others and not touch, hold or look at your phone or a tv during that conversation. Figure out your rules…and just try it out. If you’d like to read more about this challenge…we have a few posts that have touched on this topic that you can glance at: #1 Time to Unplug our Kids #2 Update to the challenge to Unplug our Kids #3 Time to power down & turn off #4 Fact 2 of media use #5 Fact 3 of media use and kids
TAKE A SEC: As I was working on this post I found a video that you might want to take a look at…watch, think about it, and then read on to what we are planning this month for you right here at The Journey.
Unplugging & Now Specifically For The Kids: We did focus a lot on kids and media usage last week as well. We threw out a few quotes and statistics as well and to be honest…I thought we would get more of a response. The stats really are a bit overwhelming…and these are our kids we are are talking about. The video above shows you how life is just going by while we are on those screens and the stats we shared showed how our kids being tied to those screens is putting them more at risk in so many different ways. We should have more of a reaction about this issue than what currently is going on. (or maybe you all weren’t on the computers last week and were doing the challenge as well…but you weren’t cause I saw your posts on FB 😉
Unplugging myself was also some prep for unplugging my kids this summer. I have 24 school days left where my little bundles of joy will be spending time with their teachers and friends. After those 24 days…they are home for the summer!
I have joy & some scary thoughts associated with that phrase “home for the summer”…because this is the first summer I just have my kids. I’ve done day care the past 8 years and our house has been consumed with children and this summer it is just me and mine. I’m excited because we have so much more flexibility and we get to just be a family…and I am dreading it just a bit because I know we have a battle coming on with those screens. My kids’ friends have their own personal screens to use. My kids’ friends get to watch shows that I don’t personally like. My kids’ friends will want to connect up via e-mail, DS,
I’ve heard lots of great tips from other moms and got a few great ideas too…and am going to spend this next month getting ready for June/July & August. And as I get ready…I’ll just share it all with you. How ’bout that! 🙂
BE ON THE LOOKOUT! The women at The Journey are working together to give you some ideas on how YOU can survive this summer with your kiddos! Some ideas might be related to food, some about exercise and even some great activities to do with your little munchkins. Be on the lookout for some awesome posts this month…cause we are gearing up for summer!
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