Thursday, January 24, 2013

Keeping the (tech) Sabbath

Tomorrow TJ and I are doing an Internet-free, device-free day. I wanted to see what that's like, because we are always, and I mean *always* near our connected devices. Between the two of us we have 3 desktops, 1 server, 2 laptops, 2 tablets and 3 phones.  My big math brain will tell you that's 11 devices between 2 people, all of them pulsing with fun Internet energy.

We don't have live TV - we ditched our DirecTV subscription in 2009 to save money before T was born and I haven't missed it at all. TJ only misses it during football season. But we've essentially replaced our TV time with other "screen time" so we can't really say we're taking the high road. 

After both kids go to bed, TJ and I sit in front of our respective screens until we go to sleep.  Not exactly quality time there either, though as introverts, we both desperately need quiet alone time.

We do limit T's screen time - she has DVDs we let her watch, but usually not more than 30 minutes a few times a week. I think it's only fair that we make an effort to limit our own screen time as well.

Maybe we'll paint.

So tomorrow we'll read books, exercise, talk to each other (OMG), do some crafty things, and eat dinner together, hopefully something we cooked ourselves. 

In my ideal world, we wouldn't use our devices while the kids are awake and with us, but that's a pretty drastic step. As part of my One Little Word, mindfulness, I am trying to limit my own device use during the day when T is home.

It's hard - my laptop sits on the counter in our kitchen.  My phone is always handy since I Facebook and surf the web while I'm nursing M. The Internet, with its nice asynchronous "social" qualities, is always beckoning. Somewhere in the world, at least one of my friends or "friends" is awake no matter when I'm online.

I've read about people doing this every week, and that may be too much for us to do right away.  So we'll start with just one day.

See you on the other side!  Is this something you've done, or would consider doing?


  1. Wow! Hats off to you. I can't imagine we would be that successful at home. We often have no internet while we travel but we are pretty addicted here~

  2. That's awesome! I'm trying to have "tech-free" days too. I have done it a few days and loved it but it's a harder habit to break now that I have an iPhone. I believe we all need less technology in our lives!! Good for you!

  3. Good luck,but I enjoy my tech too much,like reading and writing blogs, lol :)

  4. I hope your tech Sabbath is going well. I'm trying to create some device free time. Not a whole day, but a few hours where I leave it and don't deal with it. There's usually nothing important.

  5. Wow. Good for you and a great idea. I think I'm not on line as much as I probably am. What I need to do is pick two or three nights a week where the TV doesn't get turned on. I tape most my shows then watch them later on the weekends. So during the week, the TV is on, but I'm watching random crap that really doesn't need to be watched. I read during the commercials, so why not just turn the TV off and read. Full stop.

  6. I think it's a great idea, I have done it before and we had an amazing day together as a family.

  7. My time from about 3pm to about 9pm on weekdays is usually device free. Maya is pretty demanding, and those brief bursts when she isn't, I'm usually trying to cook or catch up on laundry/housework. I also avoid screen time of my own around her because she'll start whining for just 1 youtube clip or whatever. She has her set screen times during the day, but that doesn't keep her from testing the limits!

    Weekends can be even tougher for me, actually, and sometimes I fail to even read my email all day. I guess it's easier when it's forced upon you and/or evolves naturally from everyone's personalities!

  8. I think a tech-free day is virtually impossible in our household (due to internet). We could get by with no TV (including no TV/movies via the computer), but my husband checks Facebook and emails all day (for work and fun). I used to bot turn on the computer much and only check emails on a limited basis on weekends, but the smartphone has changed that. We do limit the kids' screen time (about 1/2 hour in the mornings and 1/2 hour at night). The easiest way for us to limit screen time is just to get out of the house and go outdoors! Although you can certainly check websites/facebook on your phone when out and about, we don't do that.

  9. oops. I meant "not" turn on the computer much..

  10. I haven't done it since I got my iPad, but I always felt so refreshed after hope it goes well

  11. I love that TJ would sign on to this.

    1. Very reluctantly, and likely never again ;)

  12. How did this go? We don't have nearly that many devices and I try to stay off mine when Sky is active at home...but my husband on the other hand ALWAYS has his nose in his phone. For my birthday, I asked for a "phone free" date day so that's what we are doing. :)


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