As a first-time Screen-Free Week celebrant (yes, it’s true), I have a host of anxieties about it. I admit I use screens all day long—for work and for fun. I play mobile games, watch TV, and surf the web daily. But I think that it’ll be hardest for me to give up searching for music. I’m obsessed with discovering new bands and songs and I do it all on a screen. Will I be able to go the whole week just listening to music already in my collection?
I know, though, that I’m not alone—many others report that the anticipation of detoxing from digital culture can be nerve-racking. Common concerns include combating boredom, not being able to rely on screens to keep children occupied, having to think up enough screen-free activities to fill the days, and not being able to unwind at the end of the day.
To keep my worries in check, I remind myself why I took the position as Screen Time Project Manager at CCFC in the first place. While Screen-Free Week certainly entails sacrifice, the reason that I believe in it is not because of what we give up, but what we gain.
I hope to gain a lot from going screen-free. I look forward to having more time with my friends and family—we’re all planning a board game night. It’s been a long winter and I’m trying to shake off the lethargy so I’m eager to find the motivation to be more active. I also hope that breaking away from the glow of electronics will give me a better night’s sleep. And of course, I hope to gain the patience to discover new music by rummaging through records and wait until I get home to listen.
I asked CCFC staff and our friends on Facebook and Twitter for their thoughts. Here are some examples of what they say they’re hoping to gain:
- More and richer face time (not FaceTime) with family
- New ways of dealing with boredom
- Time to catch up on books and magazines, and listen to music (on vinyl!)
- More time for creative play for children
- Peace of mind
Perhaps when we feel those pangs of nervous energy as we obsess about what we might lose, focusing on what we hope to gain can get us through. So when I get an itch to jump on Spotify to check out the newest music releases, instead I’ll listen to the hidden gems I found at the local used record store.
What about you? What do you hope to gain by going screen free?