*On May 10, 2014, my family and I embarked on a 100 Day Family Challenge to limit our screen time. To get all of the details, check out THIS POST.
We are officially at the halfway mark of our 100 Day Family Challenge, and things are going very well! I am really enjoying the changes I’m seeing in our family.
I think the most drastic change I’ve noticed has been with Marley. She rarely turns on the television or gets on her computer. She would rather read a book. Oh. My. Goodness. Marley has been devouring books this summer, which is very unusual for her, but I’m definitely not complaining.
Mark and I have been super busy working on the deck and maintaining the house. (Sawdust gets everywhere!) Neither of us have much time to be in front of a screen. Honestly, we haven’t been sitting down to dinner most nights until about 8:00 or later, and by the time we’re done eating, cleaning up the dishes, and packing lunches, we’re exhausted and heading to bed.
So here’s the rundown:
- Social Media: I personally don’t miss Facebook at all. Instagram? Kinda. Pinterest? Meh….just a bit, but I have managed to survive. I will say, though, now that I’m blogging again, it is difficult to stay off social media for the sake of promoting my blog posts, but I’m reluctant to even do that.
- Internet: During the work day, I’m online all the time. By the time I get home, I really don’t feel like being on the computer. The only thing I do online at home is edit my photo of the day and post it to Flickr for my 365 photography project. Mark gets tips on building the deck, or shops for patio furniture and grills.
- Video Games: I let Marley play Minecraft for about half an hour last week. So far, though, that’s been the only video game playing since we started our challenge!
- Cell Phone Usage: Mark and I are conquering this one. Marley has a harder time, which is understandable because she’s a kid. However, she was around a friend of hers for a few days last week, and that friend was glued to her phone. Marley noticed and didn’t like it. She mentioned to me that she realizes how bad it is, and how disrespectful it can be, and she wants to do better. WOOT!
- TV Time: Did I mention we’re building a deck? Yea. Not much TV being watched around here these days. Maybe 30 minutes to an hour each week night as we wind down before bed, but that’s about it. And that’s fine by me!
A few things that have helped me:
- I have turned off all notifications on my phone, except text and phone calls. I no longer get pings and beeps when a new email comes in, a Facebook status is shared, or any other social media notification. Most of the time, my phone is nice and quiet.
- I stay busy at home now. To be perfectly honest, prior to this challenge, I had a bad habit of coming home, starting dinner, and popping open my laptop to get on Facebook or Pinterest. Now, I get laundry done, clean the house, or work on something on my ever-expanding to-do list. I’m more productive – not because I need to stay busy in order to stay off Facebook, but because I have found a new sense of enjoyment in marking things off my list.
- Tough love. Sometimes I have to be hard on Marley, or even Mark, and remind them that their phones should be put away. And yes, I even have to be hard on myself from time to time. I’ve been “tagged” in a few Facebook posts, even though my friends are well aware that I’m not on Facebook right now. It’s rather tempting to just stop by and check out whatever I was tagged in, but then I remind myself that it’s not a big deal. If they really need to reach me, they have my number, or email address.
Overall, we are making changes that I think will stick with us even after this 100 Day Family Challenge is over. We are adjusting to new routines, and creating new healthy habits. The payoff to all of this is, we are spending more quality time together. It’s well worth it!
Have you limited screen time in your home? What are some tips for making it “stick”?