Monday, October 4, 2010

Social Experiment

No media. For one day. Electronic blackout. Is it possible?

That was the question we posed this past Saturday. Rob and I wanted to try one whole day without computers, DVD players, televisions, blackberries, etc.... nothing.

Could we survive?

Let me back up. Rob and I have been very convicted lately about the amount of time we spend on the computer and/or watching TV. And honestly, we don't watch that much TV. It's never on just as background noise. We only have it on to watch certain shows. And we really don't get on our computers much except in the mornings and then late at night after the kids go to bed.

But still.... how much more could we do without all that stuff? How much more would we notice? Would our quality time with the kids seem more meaningful? So we tried. And here's my observations on the day.

I woke up with the kids and that was the hardest part of the day. THE hardest. Normally we would go downstairs and they would watch one cartoon while I had coffee and checked e-mail and the news on my computer. We couldn't do any of that. So we took out Bennett's dollhouse and just played together. First thing in the morning. Whew. That was hard for this girl who is not a morning person.

Then I made pancakes. And the kids helped. Usually I would let them finish their cartoon so I could work in the kitchen alone, but they helped me instead. Bennett measured things and Will stirred.

I won't lie and say that I wasn't just itching to get on my computer. I realized that I have an addiction. A serious addiction. I was dying just to check e-mail, hop on a news site, see what I had missed overnight. It was HARD. Isn't that sad?

I won't bore you with a play by play of our day, but the result was that we got SO much more done around our house, played with our kids a lot more, and just engaged in our family. We spent most of the day away from our house, but when we were home we worked on projects and just got down on the floor and played with the kids. We have decided to do it once a month and I can't wait for the next one. It's so nice to know that turning on the TV, the blackberry, and the computer just isn't an option. It changes everything.

And a disclaimer- the experiment ended precisely at 7:00. I'm not a fool. Do you really think I would have missed watching Alabama beat the crap out of Florida? I think not.


starnes family said...

Good for you! I almost never watch TV, but do allow the children to randomly. We're usually out of the house, so not tempted. Glad your trial was successful!

Donnie Manis said...

Whew! I was worried 'til that last paragraph. Ok, not really. :-)

I may be addicted also. After all, what time is it now? Oh yeah...12:30 am. Gotta work on that.

Lori Mercer said...

You know around the time you posed the question about the car DVD players was when I was having a big problem with my kids fighting over it. Since then the DVD player actually broke (on its own I promise! ;)) and when we found out how much it would be to get it fixed we decided to wait. It has been several weeks without one and I thought it would be pure well you know but I've been pleasantly surprised. Who would have guessed that we DON'T have to have a DVD player to drive to the store! My son actually talks NON-STOP now and if he isn't talking he is SINGING!!! It has been quite the interesting experiment as well. I've decided we will not get the in-car DVD player fixed and just take the portable one with us on long trips. Now don't get me wrong I do miss those quite car rides with both kids glued to the TV but I would trade that for the priceless conversations we've had since then! ;)

Unknown said...

I can't understand why there was a post on October 4th, a date of no particular note, but nothing to commemorate October 5th, the greatest day of the year? A date of global celebration, fireworks, brass bands, and world-wide joy & gratitude? Where's the recognition? Hmmph.