Across the blogosphere people are chatting about being screen-free for a week starting tomorrow, April 17. I haven’t taken too much notice, really, because we don’t own a television and the focus is generally on cutting down tv/dvd time. (Ironically, I have few hints for people, as I don’t know what it is we do that someone else doesn’t because we are tv-free. When pressed I suggest books, forts, cooking with your kids, having fresh art supplies, planning play dates–kids can disappear for hours!, the library, parks, anything outdoors.) But as of yesterday I wondered if I should actually consider ALL screens…and then I gulped.
You mean my computer? My phone? Hmm….
I’ve already given up Facebook for Lent. But am I willing to cut down all my screen time for a week? I confess I protest. “But this is the way people communicate these days! But I use it for more than just socializing. But some friends are most easily accessible this way (e.g. live in Africa). But, but, but….” And then I wondered if this wouldn’t be the perfect week for me to be screen-free. Easter is next Sunday. If I gave up my blogs, emails, “must-reads”, etc., I might have more time to reflect this Holy week.
To be completely honest, I don’t feel like I need legalism about this. I *am* trying to help get this 501c3 up and going and need to do some editing, so I’ll be on the computer. Most of my recipes (and my meal-planning calendar) are found on a screen, and I don’t need to sacrifice a tree to stand on this hill. And there are a few other things that may occupy my time. But what I think I’d like to publicly commit to is being honest about what is a need and what is merely spending time in front of a screen, even if it’s good and relaxing. It’s the latter that I choose to be free from this week. Who knows, maybe it means you might even get a phone call.