Monday, May 7, 2012

Screen-Free Week 2012 Update

Last week was Screen-Free week. For, the most part, we did fine. I cheated. I visited two forums that I haven't been to in a while, and responded to a few threads. It was just one day, two forums, and a total of three posts. There was no real reason for it. I just had nothing else going on, the kids were sleeping, my hubby was at work, and I was taking a break from reading. It was early in the morning, and I was checking my email, since I had already read for 2 hours that morning. I decided to stop by. I also posted to my book club.

We spent most of the time reading, and the kids got in some extra play time. They have requested doing a Screen-Free Week once a month. I think we'll figure out some kind of compromise. See, my biggest problem is late at night, after everyone else is in bed. I'm up, alone, for a good 4 hours or more. I usually have the tv on, mostly for background noise, while I read, write blog posts, do work for my classes, do prep for the kids' school, play stupid games on FB, etc. That time is also the only time I get to watch the shows or movie that the kids can't watch & hubby doesn't want to watch.

There are quite a few 'experts' that claim that screen time, especially at night, is a cause of insomnia. Well, I can say with confidence, not for me. Not only did my insomnia not get any better over this week with very, very limited screen use, but it was actually worse than usual. The kids both seemed to have more trouble sleeping, too. Caffeine isn't a cause for me, either. In fact, caffeine has no effect on me at all. I gave up Mt Dew months ago, rarely drink any kind of soda, and only drink coffee if I remember to go make some. Neither amount of caffeine nor time of day I consume it have ever had the slightest impact on my ability to sleep.

All in all, Screen-Free Week was fine. The kids didn't complain. We didn't really spend any more time together, though. Our screen use doesn't really get in the way of family time, so it wasn't surprising that it didn't add to our family time. The kids fought just as much while playing as they do any other time. I did miss some of my basic interaction with other people, though. During the week, most of my social interaction is online. It's not a lot, but without that I had no adult conversation until my hubby got home from work. I don't know that we'll do it again. Honestly, I would prefer to just limit the screen time (which we already do) and teach the kids that moderation is the key.