Related: 40x40 List
Date completed: Saturday, December 26 and Sunday, December 27, 2015
I'll admit it - walking a marathon is a breeze compared to going a weekend without screens. They are everywhere! Most of us interact with a variety of screens multiple times a day both for practical reasons and out of habit. Considering the fact that I work on websites for a living, I am not about to advocate for avoiding screens all the time or even most of the time but after this exercise, I do think it is restorative and eye-opening to take periodic breaks.
What does "screen-free" mean?
To me, it meant avoiding the use of computers, tablets, smart phones, televisions, and movie screens. If you want to get technical about the definition of a screen (as my scientist hubby does), I suppose I made exceptions for our alarm clock, the microwave and oven clock, and my FitBit.
Set email auto-responder. My personal email auto-response was:
Subject: I'm enjoying a screen-free weekend
I'm taking a break from screens until Monday, December 28. If needed, please contact Scott Nivens at [email address].
Inform people most likely to contact me. Several of my neighbors let me know their holiday travel schedule so I let them know the two days when they'd need to contact Scott instead of me if anything came up.
Print key information. I knew I wanted to write and address our holiday greeting cards during my screen-free weekend so I printed out the address list ahead of time. For future screen-free breaks, I know I'll need to consider information that I normally access online and print it in advance or make other arrangements.
Update social media status. I didn't bother letting people know I was taking a break from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. but some people may feel more comfortable taking a vacation from screens if people know why they aren't posting for a few days.
Things I did in lieu of screen-time
Because my family and I couldn't rely on passing time with our screens, we got creative! I'm not sure we would have done the following had it not been for my self-imposed screen vacation:
What I missed
During the 48 hours without screens, I missed:
Whether it's an entire weekend, during my commute to/from work, or in the evening when I'm home with Scott, I do plan on setting aside time to purposefully avoid screens. Perhaps I'll even participate in Screen-Free week.
The Nivens Family