Back in August, I made a decision that I didn’t think was going to be a big deal. I decided that I would set aside technology every Saturday in exchange for some down-time. Anyone who knows me, knows I live a tethered life. My five (yes, 5!!) mobile tethering devices are never far from my grasp, and my weary eyes are the poster children for Visual Fatigue. After years and years (and years) of seemingly non-stop connectivity, I needed an intervention. I was finally committed to unplugging one day per week for my family.
Now, I know the promise I made wasn’t all that original, or unusual. Folks all over the globe take technology vacations, cut back on connectivity and (like me) ironically post about their experience online. I know in the whole scheme of things, Saturdays sans technology isn’t THAT big of a deal.
Except it is.
It has been a very big deal.
My first Saturdays were spent in a bit of a lost-puppy phase. Without my Saturday morning technology check-in, I had to re-work my schedule. The couch beckoned to me. My laptop lay silent; pouting. My iPad rang out with a chorus of dings and chimes which were clearly an attempt at a Siren Song. I restlessly searched for diversions…. laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, weeding, errands and (?!!?) more laundry. I was trying to keep busy to keep away from technology.
You are probably seeing it already, but it was a lot longer before I did – I was missing the whole point, wasn’t I?
I had given myself the opportunity to connect with others and enjoy some down-time, and instead I was just trying to fill the time with busy work so that Saturdays would go by faster. Seriously? I wanted to Saturdays to go by FASTER? Ugh, I needed a re-intervention!!
When I woke up to the realization that I needed to enjoy Saturdays, I saw my behavior patterns change. I started cooking, and shopping with my kids (it seems teenagers love to shop), and spending time with Mr. Brooks. We went seaglassing. I took photographs. I volunteered my time. I began reading actual books! I started looking forward to Saturdays, wishfully hoping they would last a bit longer.
I also started being very aware of how technology-dependent everyone else appeared on these Saturdays. After all, it wasn’t like the Internet shut down on Saturdays just because I didn’t show up. I still received messages, and emails. I was missing photos and videos. I was putting off responding until Sundays while I payed attention to what I saw going on in my home and in my community.
Heads-down and fingers flying, folks around me were Liking and Pinning and YouTubing and e-mailing and Vining and Tweeting and Posting in ways that made me see myself in a new light. I realized the promise I had originally made to my family was essentially a promise to myself. I was reminded of all the things I loved doing before technology overtook my very existence.
What surprised me the most over these past seven Saturdays was the fact that I started to crave down-time even more. So, soon after school started, I designated Wednesdays as Web-Free for Me. I check my email before leaving school, but now am trying my best to stay logged-off until Thursday morning rolls around. I’m also finding myself setting aside technology earlier and earlier on Friday evenings; essentially extending my Sign-Off Saturday by a few more hours.
While striving for balance has been a goal of mine for quite some time, I feel that I am finally making strides in the right direction. Admittedly, I have a ways to go. Please don’t ask me about Stuck Online Sundays! If you have any advice or connections to share, feel free to leave a comment!
Homemade zucchini bread, anyone???
Picture Day is Tuesday! Please have your child bring in their order form. Thank you!
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