Posted by: bluelion | June 10, 2016

My Screen-Free Week – the experience (Part I)

I expect to have more quality time with the kids, and finishing more real-life tasks. Let the experiment begin!

Day 1

So far, so good. I already checked my phone for new messages in the first hour, but the wi-fi is turned off so there weren’t any). I continued reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, and started gathering and putting away toys the kids never play with.

I had an appointment with the dermatologist in the afternoon. I had to wait for a few minutes without sending instant messages to everyone, or surfing the web. I was wandering around in the waiting room, checking all the photos and posters on the walls. It felt a bit odd and old-fashioned. I was wondering whether one of the plants was a three times larger version of a plant I have at home. And where to put mine if it grows this big.

The kids were playing outside when I got home. I used a camera to take pictures of them instead of the phone. I will have to make an effort to do so in the future, the quality is so much better. I scribbled down the meters into a notebook instead of the phone.

The storm came which I wasn’t alerted to by the weather app on my phone. However, I could see the dark clouds and hear the rumbling sounds, so we went inside. We read from a children’s book from the library, which we usually don’t do on weekdays, only at bedtime.

I decided it was okay to check my messages once every 24 hours to know of deliveries and any personal emergencies. I expected to see 238 messages. There were four. (I already unsubscribed from most newsletters).

Day 2

I started to tap at my phone first thing in the morning out of habit. The wi-fi was still turned off. I couldn’t check the weather forecast so I was a bit at a loss with what to let my son wear.

I found a mole I wasn’t sure the doctor saw last time so I allowed myself to check the dermatologist’s office hours, then gave her a ring.

I jumped when my phone rang, I felt so communication deprived. I sent two SMS messages, accidentally not to my husbad but to my father. That is also so old-school. This kind of thing never happens with WhatsApp but we (I) send way too many messages on that platform.

Then I started to write my thoughts in a notebook. With a pen. It felt good but also strange that I couldn’t check spellings or unknown words. Also, my hand started to hurt on page 5. I can’t write while walking up and down with my baby, either. She doesn’t like me writing at the table. All right, she does like the pen. And the notebook. She wants them both to herself, actually.

My friend support network depends heavily on WhatsApp, it turns out. That’s a challenge how to use it to help all of us without taking too much screen time.

Day 3

It’s been 48 hours and I feel like a hero. Also, like I’m almost done, which is obviously very far from reality.

I write drafts, what I read and what books I obtained in notebooks instead of on Moly and WordPress. I’m not sure this helps anything other than my son’s perception of what I’m doing. He’s not upset with me scribbling on paper at all, unlike when I’m tapping my phone. Maybe I should use pen and paper during their awake time. If only it wouldn’t mean double work! And hand cramps. No, it’s still very much worth it.

It’s been a great day! My five-and-a-half-year-old enchanted everyone on his day off from pre-school. He greeted the workers painting a fence nearby so loud and clear they couldn’t get over it. He gave back the soccer ball to the guys playing at the mental institute. And the cashier was loudly commenting on how sweet he was when he started to sing a nursery rhyme to his little sister to entertain her while we were waiting in line.

We read about dolphins, whales and horses, we read two new children’s books and finished one we started two days ago. We were running around, hiding in their “castle”, trying on different hats, laughing and playing a lot. I loved it! I plan to keep the newly forming habit of checking the messages only when the kids are asleep and keeping myself generally offline. (Note: Yes, I failed miserably. But now I’m reminded of this pledge!)

Oh, and about battery life: I haven’t charged my phone since Monday, and it’s Wednesday night.

Also, I called someone instead of sending a Facebook message, and as it turns out, she needed that phonecall very much at that moment.

(to be continued)



  1. […] can read part I here and how we usually use screens […]


  2. […] slow naptáram, a májust képernyőmentes héttel indítottam (screen-free week posztok itt, itt, itt és itt), és egyáltalán, én is érzem, hogy túl hangos, túl gyors ez a körhinta, muszáj […]


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