Monday, May 6, 2013

Plugging back in after Screen Free Week

Marotta is "on the grid"
I am not Amish.  I fully admit to loving technology and all of the conveniences that come with being "plugged in." Despite my affinity for all things plugged I took the challenge and went off screens for one full week. It was like a trip back in time, except I did have a "mobile" so I could make and receive calls. No texts. No camera. No FaceBook. No email. No exceptions.

It was . . . different.

Driving was super quiet.  I would like to tell you I was a less distracted driver but I rediscovered old  past times for my commute.  Looking out of the windows.Watching other drivers.  Listening to the radio.  Did you hear that NPR aired a special on the Screen Free Week with the author of Doug Unplugged? It was awesome. 

Home was equally quiet.  I found myself particularly productive.  I cleaned, weeded, exercised, read (a book with pages!), and stayed up late.  When the "land line" phone rang I didn't recognize the sound. I was thrilled to hear my college kiddo's voice! She called the home number after trying my cell, and waiting for the text back that never came.  

"Who wrote the Max and Ruby series?"
 "Where is the restaurant?"
 "How many WW points is . . . ?"
"Would you order me tickets for the Listen to Your Mother show?

Family members and  friends were stressed by my seven day experiment.  I was like a three year old with all of my questions. They even nicknamed me "bossy pants" for delegating all google searches their way. Hey--I said thank you!

I stocked the waiting room with games, new toys, and information about SFW.  Many clients participated willingly, some not so much. I saw families playing cards, reading, and talking more.  It was like time travel.

Here are my personal conclusions from my venture out of the informational age:
  • Talking was more meaningful and memorable than texting.
  • Boredom didn't kill me.
  • Boundaries for screens made me more focused.
  • Time out from technology meant more movement (one day I logged 16,000 steps!)

I'm officially back on the grid, but making some changes. 

What did you learn from SFW 2013?


  1. Welcome back, Lisa! I was impressed by your stick-to-it-ness (a new phrase just for you!) and considering trying a mini version (screen-free day) of your experiment - it sounds productive!

    1. Please report back, I would like to add some numbers to my study! I am now trying to make adjustments to keep my inner calm thing going- without being a bossy pants- I'll let you know how that works out too.

  2. Did you hear that NPR aired a special on the Screen Free Week with the author of Doug Unplugged? It was awesome.

    I wonder if I could find this ON THE INTERNET? Ha ha. But seriously, I would have loved to hear this.

    I really do need to detach from the screens in my life. Not entirely, but I spend way too much time with them.

    1. Would it scare you to hear that I am thinking BIG next year for screen free week?! I bought the Doug Unplugged book (so cute!) and am planning, planning, planning. I am hoping to inspire others to evaluate their screen time, not eliminate it so let me know if you figure out a balance. I am still working on it. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I heard a report on NPR today about how technology and multi-tasking is affecting us all. I wish I could say I was immune but I was much more productive in my writing when I had to go to the desktop to access the internet. We didn't yet have wifi in the house and I had to admit what I was doing when I went on line. Now I type away at the laptop and fool myself that I'm productive. I need to have screen free time. I also find that sometimes the only way to get a breakthrough on writing is by using a pen and spiral notebook. The act of writing with a pen can be more freeing than the act of typing. Good for you for helping us to think about this.

    1. I wish the pen and paper thing had been freeing for me last week with weight watchers, alas, I am not at all free this month. I LOVE my ww application on my iphone!
      As for writing I can so relate to being distracted by the proximity to my facebook buddies and email. Lets keep working at this- I appreciate your input!