Apr. 27: Jen’s experiment

sfwI’m kind of on a countdown right now… I have approximately 56 hours left until my voluntary torture begins: National Screen-Free Week is April 30-May 6 and I’m giving it a try. Will I make it to May 6? My magic 8-ball says “outlook not so good.” That’s also what my mouth says. And my friends’ mouths. My mean, horrible, evil friends’ mouths.

I’ve been NOT looking forward to the start of SFW so much that I thought it started Sunday, not Monday. Just now, when I calculated the 56 hours I have left? It was 24 more than I expected. That should make me happy, right? Well, less grouchy, at the very least. And yet… I still don’t want to do this SO MU H. I can do it; I’m pretty sure of that. I just don’t really want to.

No one’s making me turn off all my screens. This event is something the PTO is sponsoring at Jack’s school as part of our reading incentive month; encouraging the kids to go screen-free but not doing it myself would be hypocritical, wouldn’t it?


And that means you’re about to meet Screen-Free Jen, the Surliest Girl This Side of Anyone Who Dares to Mention One of Her Favorite TV Shows.

TV itself is not a problem—I almost never watch TV on a television. I watch it ALL THE TIME on my computer and iThings, though. That will have to stop. Here’s what I won’t be doing April 30-May 6:

  • Watching Hulu+, nbc.com, cbs.com, abc.com, etc. Whose sick joke was it to schedule Screen-Free Week during sweeps? Imma stab someone for that.
  • Facebook. This one’s a killer, since it’s my sole method of communication with lots of friends. It’s also a tremendous time-waster. If I could just use FB to keep up with friends’ news, I think it’d be fine, but NO. They have to go and post funny videos and links and make Facebook a big no-no for SFW. Damn my entertaining friends!
  • Blogging. Pretty sure the world can live without my nonsense for a week.
  • Playing games on my phone. I waste HOURS every week playing games on my phone—it’s what I do while waiting for Jack to get out of school, how I slow/shut down before I go to sleep, how I avoid talking to people while standing in lines… games like Scramble with Friends, Draw Something, Drop7, and Sudoku have become habits and will be hard to give up. I predict I’ll forget more than once. Should you see me forgetting, you do NOT have permission to slap my phone out of my hand, y’hear???
  • Pinterest. Screen-Free Week was made for us Pinterest addicts, pretty sure.

Here’s stuff I’ll still be doing:

  • Reading/answering email. I’m not about to cut myself off from the world in EVERY way.
  • Texting. I don’t text excessively as it is, so this is not a form of time-wasting screen entertainment.
  • Working. I’m still going to use my computer for school and work stuff. It’s using screens for entertainment that I’ll avoid.
  • Checking weather and news. Again, I have no intention of shutting out the world.
  • Listening to music. I can have Pandora on without staring at the screen for hours, so I say music on my iPod is fine.

What will I do? Here’s the flyer I made for the kids at school that has one beellion ideas.

  • Read a book or fifty. At our Moms’ Book Exchange Night this week, I picked up eight new books. That should be enough to get me through SFW Day One.
  • Nap. I loves me my naps, SFW or not.
  • Go for walks. Maybe take one of the dogs along.
  • Build a fort. IT WILL BE AWESOME.
  • Whine. Probably a lot. Vic will probably Facebook about it. Watch and see.
  • Drink heavily.

Screen-Free Week used to be TV Turnoff Week, back in the olden days before we walked around with an iDevice in each hand. It’s also been called Digital Detox Week. It’s a time to unplug and “engage in life” for seven days—long enough to get in a habit of easily finding non-screen forms of entertainment. Really, it’s a very good idea; I could use some detox-ing. Of course, I’ll probably pick up a bunch of way-worse habits next week that I’ll need to detox from…

It’s trading one addiction for another.

And that’s what life’s all about, right?

Dare I ask you to join me in Screen-Free Week? I do. I dare.


1 comment:

  1. I have to admit, the idea is compelling, but.... but.... Hmmm... Good luck with your week of new addictions - may they not be permanently marking in any way :O)


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