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That’s a little lazy, but make sure to watch the video at the bottom!
Before the school year ended, I decided that screen time in our home was going to be cut back significantly. The two things I was dreading most for the summer were two questions: “Can I have a snack?” and “Can I watch TV/play on my tablet/look at your phone/watch a movie?”
Well, I decided that the days of my kids being zoned in front of the television and then turning into legit screen zombies were over. I also wanted to curb my reliance on using screens as a crutch when I need the kids to leave me alone!
A New Digital Day
So the last day of school came and went, and a new day dawned. Basically, I set up a token system where the kids would each get tokens for 3 hours of screen time a week BUT….. to be able to use the tokens, they had to complete a list of activities like chores, reading, play outdoors, etc.
To our surprise, we found that after a couple of days, they just…played. Some weeks went by with zero screen time, and they were perfectly happy to just play with their toys, color, Legos or go outside. This experiment definitely exceeded expectations as we both thought it would be a lot of tears or difficult to enforce. So sometimes things do go our way!
This reduction of screens led me to my own reckoning. If I was honest with myself, I was compulsively checking my phone way more than I wanted. I tracked my time with an app and found I spent an average 50 minutes a day on Facebook and Instagram. As someone who likes to be ultra-productive, this did not seem like the best use of my time.
I could tell my brain needed something drastic to detox.
So after being inspired by the book Digital Minimalism, I decided on July 1st I would start a 30-day digital detox. This meant I only used my phone for text messaging, phone calls, and taking pictures. I took all social media, unnecessary apps, and even email off my phone. After 30 days, I would add back in what I thought was useful to have at my fingertips.
Getting The Twitches
So for the first few days I was twitchy. It was hard to break the impulse of wanting to pick up and look at my phone every spare moment. As days passed, I seemed to miss scrolling social media less and less until the month had passed, and I felt that I should continue the detox beyond the 30-day mark.
Now I always wanted to go back to Instagram because honestly, I love it. But there were a lot of things I was hoping to accomplish while detoxing. Some were lofty things that I will always be striving towards like focusing on more meaningful connection and being present with my kids. And some were more tangible like read more books, complete some online courses I had purchased over a year ago and hadn’t done, catch up on editing my family’s videos, and focus on my summer bucket list. I told myself I wouldn’t get back on Instagram until I was done with my list and now I finally am!
As a fun little conclusion to my digital minimalism experiment, I made this video to summarize everything we did this summer. It was a lot! Enjoy 4 months of living crammed into 5 minutes!