It's Screen Free Week and I've made it my mission to convince you that the joys of going screen free are so immediate and immense, so real and reliable, that you'll turn off your device once you've read this post and not log back on until next week!
Screen Free Week is a global celebration that invites everyone, young and old, to rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen. Begun in the 1990's as "Turn the TV Off" week, it has now grown into a broader invitation to shuck all the online time and rediscover reading, playing, thinking, creating and connecting. It is an opportunity for all of us to go back to the experiences we used to have before technology played such a dominant role in our lives.
Nowadays, between smartphones, tablets, computers and televisions, the sheer number of screens in a home can seem overwhelming. But it wasn't that long ago that we were without these devices. It wasn't that long ago that our time was more our own and our connections were more real.
If your family is drenched in technology and it feels challenging to know how to approach the idea of Screen Free Week with your children, here are some simple ideas:
Play outside with your children in the fresh spring air.
Move your furniture around into a fresh, new arrangement.
Call someone you love and have a long evening chat.
Cook something new.
Listen to music. Or better yet, play live music.
Play word games, board games, card games or a jigsaw puzzle.
Read aloud after dinner.
Give your time to someone who needs you.
Take a long walk and really let yourself meander.
Sew. Tinker. Paint. Fix.
These are just a few of the many ways you can rediscover the essential joys that have gone by the wayside in recent years. Once you dive into any one of these pleasures, you are certain to springboard into more and end up with a great new list of your own.
One thing is certain. When you turn off your screens you will be amazed at how much more time you have. You'll realize that you pour a lot of your time away, getting caught up in unnecessary wanderings online. You'll reconnect with aspects of yourself and your life that you don't even know you've been missing. You'll have a lot more fun. Fresh, real life fun.
So go on. It's time.
Turn this screen off.