Friday, April 15, 2011

Screen-Free Week and Me

Given that my daughter (almost 2.5) is screen-free year-round, the week won’t really affect her (although hopefully her father will be a little less distracted). So for me, the week is more about looking in the mirror.

Giving up TV will be easy. If it weren’t Screen-Free Week, I would definitely watch some of the NBA playoffs but given that my team (don’t laugh – the New Jersey Nets) isn’t in them, it won’t be much of sacrifice.

But the Internet is another story. I know I spend way too much time online. I never joined Facebook, but Twitter definitely has its hooks in me. I get lost clicking from tweets to news and commentary. And then there’s commentary on the commentary and before you know it, wow – is it really midnight? I swore I’d be in bed by ten.

I could probably rationalize that the news and blogs I consume aren’t entertainment. After all, I’m not reading TMZ or even, for the most part, establishment media – I’m educating myself by reading alternative news sources and brilliant commentators. And isn’t it my job – both as an activist and a citizen – to be informed?

But it’s Screen-Free Week – and I owe to myself and my family not to rationalize. And as wonderful as the Internet has been for me for so many reasons, when I can’t pass by my office without checking email, when I stay up until 2:00 AM following the results of the Wisconsin Supreme Court election (yes, I really did that), when I find myself feeling cranky because no one has retweeted that brilliant tweet of mine, something is out of whack.

So here’s my plan for Screen-Free Week

1. No computer at home. No email, no Internet no matter what the content, no blogging, no tweeting, nada.
2. No Internet at work. I need to respond to emails, but rather then spending my Screen-Free Week trying to decide if an article is work-related or not, I’m going cold turkey.

I’m honestly not sure I can do it. But I do know I’m going to have fun trying. And I’m really excited to read more (offline! books!!!) than I have in years.


  1. I'm so curious to hear about your experience. It's amazing how the internet sucks us in. And we will, like you say, read online, but in this crazy, clicking around, skimming, frantic way. There was that study about how people no longer read to remember because they don't have to (they know they can always come back). I hope I can do a screen-free week, too. I'm going to try. Thanks.

  2. I hope you made it. I'm like you, no problem with the TV but the internet vacation will be filled with dt's.