A Screen-free Day

I’d never heard this term until watching an episode of Anderson Cooper the other day, but I recently had a screen-free weekend, and man! what a difference it makes.

I am not really a cell phone person, though I have it on me all of the time because I have a teenager that needs to be able to reach me. I do not have a smart phone, iPad, iAnything for that matter. But I’m addicted to checking email.

My email program is running in the background when I’m here on the computer working, and if I’m out of the house, the first thing I do when I get home is hit the Check Email button.

In defense, dealing with email is my job. As an editor, I have my authors and the editors I supervise contacting me with urgent problems that I should respond to as soon as I can—like as soon as I walk into the house…right?

I admit it though…I’m addicted. I feel a little bit of letdown when I check my email and there’s nothing new for me to deal with.

I could have been out with my daughter, having a great day doing whatever, and we walk in the door, and I’m “back on the clock.” I know this annoys her, but I didn’t realize just how much it was annoying me, until I had three solid days of no email.

My hubby and I, to celebrate our anniversary, got on a ferry, went to the Sunshine Coast of BC, and stayed in a carriage house rental for two nights/three days. The cell phone reception was bad, but enough to keep in touch with the teen when needed. There was a television, but it barely got turned on, hubby did bring his computer, but it was only used to get the pictures off the digital camera. There was no wi-fi available.

I read a whole book, we went sight seeing, we sat down and faced each other over a dinner table every night and had conversation! You have no idea how rare that is in our family, where he works nights, I work days, and the teenager is a teenager. Granted, the teen wasn’t there, which helped with the romance, but next year we’re dragging her there and making her spend a weekend without her iPod, cell phone and computer.

So, I definitely advocate a screen-free day. Anderson Cooper says to do it once a week. I’m not sure I’m ready for that, unless I’m out of the house—I have a hard time avoiding the computer when at home—but a few times a year, my hubby and I vowed, we’ll go away from home and technology and enjoy the world outside.

Anna Leigh

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5 responses to “A Screen-free Day

  1. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Just the thought of it makes me sigh. The “V” word especially—that’s vacation for you writers who have a tough time spelling :D—is something I try to keep sacred: no cell phones, no internet café.

    Good for you, Anna Leigh!

  2. Good for you! I need to do this, but my laptop has been surgically embedded into my hip. I’m trying to get it removed, but it’s a painful process.
    eden

  3. I call those days “unplugged” and try to take them at least once a month. Of course, I usually check my e-mails on my iPhone first thing in the morning and in the evening, but put it away in the bedroom for the rest of the day to remove temptation.

    Either that, or I attach it to the Bose and use it to play Pandora radio all day. Because music doesn’t require a screen, and I can’t go a day without tunes. 🙂

  4. I actually probably go unplugged a lot more often than you guys. I have email on my Blackberry, but if I’m out, I seldom, if ever, check it. I often go a whole day without checking, though I will, like Lisa, check early in the morning and late at night – just in case some editor has fallen in love with something I’ve sent them or a friend has a problem and needs an answer! Other than that? Everything can wait for a day. And if I’m on vacation, I might only check my email every second or third or (*OMG*) fourth day.

    Kate

  5. If you insist on taking the teen, which is a good idea, take two weekends–one for her and one for you and your Hubby. I don’t need to explain!

    Wally 😉

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