It’s 7:30 am, I’ve only been awake for 10 minutes but have already checked my email, checked social media, and skimmed through 3 articles about how the world is falling apart.
It’s 3:45 pm, I’ve spent nearly 6 hours looking at a screen and the muscle behind my left eyebrow is starting to pulsate.
It’s 10:45 pm, Sam’s been asleep for an hour and I’m online reading recipes, job postings, and several humorous lists that make me feel nostalgic for the 90’s (I miss flannel).
This is pretty much every day…
A one week electronic media fast. Not all media…just media that requires a battery or an electrical outlet.
Books, OK. Newspapers, OK. Music, OK (live, made by me or another musician)
While I could explain this whole experiment to my employer, something tells me it wont fly. There, I will continue my glowing screen lifestyle. At work, I will ONLY work. Breaks will be spent walking or reading, not getting sucked into the internet black hole I so often fall into.
Three reasons, though I am sure there are many more.
- Study – When prepping for an environmental education volunteer orientation, I thought it might be nice to add some children-in-nature(or out of it)-esque statistics. What I found was quite disturbing. I won’t elaborate too much, I will just say this: The average amount of time spent on entertainment media by children ages 8-18 is 7.5 hours a day (a study from 2010, I can only imagine what it is now). My horrified feelings were mixed with a bit of guilt due to my hypocrisy. I don’t spend 7.5 hours a day on social media, but I am certain my number is not too far behind. If you would like to read more about this study, and I highly suggest it, you can find it here: If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online – NY TIMES
- Alaska – In May we spent nine days in Alaska. No internet, no phones, no connection to the outside world. Nine beautiful days spent kayaking, hiking, and cruising on a small boat; it was the most spiritually enriching and relaxing nine days I have lived. Among the awe-inspiring beauty that is Alaska, we took a break from the buzzing, beeping, and clanging of our everyday life. My devotions were to the people I was face to face with and my eyes were open to the world around me; not to a small glowing screen.
- I’m exhausted, my eyes hurt, and my skin feels puffy and it’s always worse after I have played online for hours. Do you experience this too?
Based on my Alaska experience, I could hypothesize about the results of this experiment; however, that is not the plan. I will take note of my body, my mind, and my time then analyze and evaluate.
Note: This is just something I am trying. Please, don’t feel as though I am judging you if you enjoy your screen time. To each her own.
Am I a modern day Luddite? I don’t think so, just someone who wants their eye strain to go away and see if there are any benefits to cutting back.
Happy weekend and week to follow!