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I’m happy to report that we went screen-free for all entertainment purposes though our household did continue to use the computer for non-entertainment purposes as I had a couple of photography and design projects for clients that had to be worked on. As well I also used the internet for the odd email communication, weather forecasts, got a recipe for marmalade and visited a couple of websites to attain needed contact information. All news and entertainment was gained offline.

There are a few things that I learned this week doing without the screen. Okay, many weren’t learnings so much as reaffirmations.
  1. Internet. Like it or not Facebook has become a communication tool for much of my extended family and friends. We didn’t find out that our nephew was in (and thankfully out of) the hospital until we made a birthday phone call later in the week. I also missed a couple of friends birthdays and other special news. There’s a few blogs that I enjoy reading on a regular basis but I had no problems just deleting others from my inbox. Just surfing isn’t something that I do often.
  2. We love music. The music was cranked far more this past week and we enjoyed the energy it gave the household.
  3. Cleaning. I didn’t spend any of my gained time cleaning… guess my house will always have that lived in feel. 
  4. I hate slush/sleet. Screen-Free week or not, the week would have been a lot more fun without this type of precipitation pouring from the sky (let’s not even talk about Saturday when the stuff accumulated). I love most weather. I have great memories of sunny days, snowy day, rainy days, even cloudy days… but slush and sleet – that rain at almost freezing point that has bits of slushy snow in the mix – YUCK! It’s cold, wet and miserable. 
  5. TV/videos. It’s nice to veg out with a video or a streamed show once in a while but it’s not part of our everyday life. We usually prefer to leave it the best of times which is why we opted not to have a tv not to mention cable in the first place.
  6. Computers are tools. For my photography, the computer is an invaluable tool. When I wasn’t distracted with “entertainment” such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, surfing, I got a lot more done in a lot less time.

I have to say that we’re probably not the best family to use as a comparison for screen-free vs non-screen-free as there’s not much difference. We are an outdoor family. It’s the nature of our personalities that we’re already outside everyday. We had a devil of a time finding something that we wanted to do on Saturday when the “blizzard” came through. (I use quotations because that’s what the radio called it but it just seemed like a really crappy, slushy mess where we were.) We ended up at the garden centre, inside and out, getting stuff for the yard and as soon as the rain/slush/snow stopped we were out playing.

In the end, I want the music to be on more often, to be more focussed when on the computer, spend less time reading “just one more thing” and be more aware of what my time is spent on. I also want to ensure that my communication with my family and friends isn’t limited to Facebook.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s sunny outside and I’ve spent enough time on the computer for now.