Monday, May 12, 2014

Screen-Free Week is Over (Whew!)

So...

 last week was Screen-Free Week. 




Did I make it?

Well... let's just say, it was even harder than last year. Checking email three or four (or ten) times a day has become so ingrained that I found it super difficult not to. We research and we communicate electronically now, so it was downright weird to pull back.

(Yes, I'm guilty of multiple infractions; I allowed myself to check my email twice a day because, hey, I still need to communicate, right? And I did have to Google hotels in Boston for an upcoming long weekend. Mea culpa.)

But I also put off starting to query my third middle grade novel until now. It needed more revision anyway.

Plus I walked more.

I read more.

I wrote more.

Yes, of course I used the laptop, darn it all. It's my job to write, so I justified using a screen for that. And my fingers will no longer work on that old manual typewriter in my closet...

Surprisingly (or not, depending on your opinion of television), it wasn't that hard to stay away from TV, except for, you know, Jeopardy! Hey it was Battle of the Decades. I couldn't resist.

But in general, I avoided it. And like last year, I managed to resist Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and Tumblr by simply not logging in. (But I apologize to everyone whose posts I missed and to anyone who had a birthday recently. Happy Belated Birthday!)

What about you? Did you participate, even for part of the week? How did it go? Would you consider participating next year?

30 comments:

  1. I didn't participate but would consider it in the future. I might have to start out with a trial run of 30 minutes and work my way up to an hour, then a half day, etc. Good luck on revisions.

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    1. A trial run of 30 minutes: Ha! That's a great compromise, Greg. We should all be able to handle an hour a day screen-free. Or one day a week.

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  2. I think you did great. I don't think I would've lasted more than 3 days. lol.

    ~Akoss

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    1. It was really tough, Akoss. Too many temptations in our electronic world. But I'll bet you could do it if you tried. :)

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  3. I think just cutting back like you did was great. The internet is useful, like to check e-mail and the hotels for your trip. And it doesn't make sense not to do those practical things. Sorry I could never totally unplug like that. I don't watch much TV so that except for news I wouldn't miss.

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    1. So true, Natalie. The internet is how we do everything now, so it's nearly impossible not to use it. I even get my news from it, instead of from TV.

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  4. Good for you! I didn't participate--but I did take most of April off from internet-ty things. Life's so busy, and the internet and television are major time suckers.

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    1. Faith, this is so true. If we can stay away from those time sucking things, we can accomplish so much more -- she says, as she spends hours on Blogger today :).

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  5. Sounds like you mostly made it -- some things you really can't avoid, like email. Other things, like tv and social media, yeah, those can go.

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    1. Barbara, I knew going into this that I'd have to continue to check my email and occasionally answer something that had to be answered right away. But there was a time not long ago when I could get away without even looking at email for a week at a time. Not anymore!

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  6. Since my secondary profession (after writer) is content editor, this wouldn't be an option for me without a whole lot of cheating. However, I love the idea in principal and find that 'screen minimizing' works well, too. Bravo on leading the way in this!

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    1. Suzanne, I would say most jobs today involve some form of screen use, so we'd all be excused for that reason. And I neglected to say in my post that Screen-Free Week is mainly aimed at families with young children.

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  7. Well done! Like most others, missing a TV show would not have been a hardship--but my beloved internet... yikes! I think, to succeed in this, I'd have to retreat to the mountains where there wasn't a snowball's chance of finding wifi. And no electronic plug-ins. In fact, no electricity. Then I'd be a winner ;)

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    1. Thanks, Michael. Most TV shows are of such poor quality that giving up TV is no problem. But yeah, the internet is here to stay. Except when there's a power outage and your smart phone battery dies...

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  8. Sounds like you did well. I think I should try this in the summer. I'm always online!

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    1. Hope you do give it a try, Andrea. It's harder than you think!

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  9. congrats on making it through and...WELCOME BACK!

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  10. I was inspired to try this after you posted this last week! I did a modified version, so I could still blog. I went offline for most of Thursday-Sunday, but did check email as you did. I felt so much more peaceful and present last week. It was like a vacation. :)

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    1. Yay! How great that you tried it. Even a partial week's break from the internet has got to be relaxing. Glad you got something positive out of it.

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  11. No thank you, I don't want to try it! Though if a person thinks they are spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, etc., I think it would make sense for them to think how they could reduce their use in an ongoing way. (I don't believe in diets either, btw, just in making healthy changes that are sustainable.)

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    1. Good point, Susan. I try to visit each form of social media once a week. For instance, I visit blogs on Monday, Twitter on Thursday (because of #mglitchat). It doesn't always work that way -- sometimes I'm on Facebook or Twitter two or three times in one week, but if that happens I try to make my visits short!

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  12. I don't watch tv except for when my husband turns it on, but I work on my computer, I write on my computer -- it would be impossible for me to follow in the strictest sense of the challenge. Plus the thought of having to sift through all that email at the end of the week would kill me!! And I'd miss solitaire on my phone when I'm waiting in line :)

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    1. I don't normally watch much other than Jeopardy, Sherrie. My husband, of course, had to watch the hockey playoffs... But yes, writing and working on a screen is part of life. And I didn't want to sort through hundreds of emails either; that's why I allowed myself the twice a day email check. But I managed to avoid playing games on my phone. :) Bet you could too if you tried!

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  13. It sounds like you did a great job staying virtually screen free! Writing definitely needed to be done, so that wasn't breaking any rules. :) Awesome that you got more walks in. I am loving Jeopardy this week (and last week). I hope you were able to catch up on the episodes you missed.
    ~Stephanie

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    1. Ah, Stephanie, you're a Jeopardy fan! Yay! I watched a few and managed to catch up on the rest (I'm thankful for the DVR).

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  14. They'd have to invent some sort of patch for me to quit! :)

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    1. Ha ha, DL! It's tough, but you could do it if you tried.

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  15. Good for you! I think I may need to try this next year :)

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