I’m unplugging . . . Will you join me?

It is going to be hard. Really hard, I suspect. From Monday April 29 – May 5th, I’ve taken a pledge to go “screen free”. Beyond this announcement post, I will not be doing any other blog posting this week here at this site. I’ll also being saying goodbye to Twitter and Facebook for the week. I will not watch tv, which frankly will be less of an issue for me, because I’m really just an occasional tv show watcher.

I’m unplugging (mostly*) for the week, mainly as a challenge to myself, as I suspect I’m rather addicted to my gadgets and all the instantaneous access to information and connections that they offer me. I know that I’ve said on more than one occasion to my family, “Just a minute,” as I finish up reading or sending a tweet or text. Not exactly the model I want to set for my kids. I’m also challenging my children to step away from the screen (mostly*) for the week. It is safe to say they aren’t thrilled at the idea, but I think they understand the principal of the week, so they’re on board, too.

Are you curious as to how you’d survive being unplugged? Does dropping off-line for a week sound too daunting? Try it for a day. Have a screen free day (or two!) for the whole family. Join me, and then circle back to share your experiences be they for a day or for the week.

Here’s the official pledge from the group organizing the Screen-Free Week, The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

On April 29-May 5, 2013 I pledge to:

    • Watch no TV or DVDs, play no video or mobile games, and only use the computer if it’s required for work;
    • Encourage my friends and family to go screen-free with me; 
    • Explore new screen-free activities; and
    • HAVE FUN!

What I will be giving up:

  • Television
  • Facebook
  • Goodreads (gulp!)
  • Pinterest (bigger gulp!) — I gulp mainly because that’s where I store my recipes; I’ll don’t think I will miss my “stream” of pins from friends too much.
  • Twitter (double gulp!)

*What technology will be happening:

  • I WILL be checking and responding to email, but I’m challenging myself to do it less often during the day. I’m currently managing a couple of school related projects so to go completely dark here feels a bit irresponsible.
  • I WILL be responding to texts, but not initiating any. Instead, you might get an old-fashioned phone call from me!
  • I WILL  be posting one blog post for my Book Fairy site this week as I am visiting my daughter’s third grade classroom and use my blog during my sharing time with them.
  • My kids will be allowed to use the computer for school work, and my oldest’s eye therapy sessions . . . beyond that, no devices, computers, or televisions for them.

My hope for the week is that I will be more aware of how much time I “lose” each day to my current level of connectedness. Arguments can certainly be made that at least some of that time is enriching, but it is safe to say a whole lot of it falls into the wasteful, or unnecessary category. I’m looking forward to this gift of time and plan to use it to read, get some much-needed gardening done, work on some organizing projects around the house, and connect on the simplest level with my kids. In other words, I hope to just be present. I’ve even done my meal planning for the week and printed off all of my recipes, so that I don’t have to go onto Pinterest to find them. In brainstorming this evening with the girls about non-tech alternatives, we talked about activities we could do and included baking and playing games. I imagine there will most certainly be some rocky moments during the week, as wills begin to crumble, but I’m hopeful that we will all be appreciative of this forced down time.

What will I miss the most this week? Twitter. Definitely Twitter.

I hope that you have a great week, and I will most definitely report back on how it went for me and my family!

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