I love movies. I love my couch. My kids love both as well. They love their iPads and Netflix and Amazon and … You get the point. I think we can escape through these things. Bored? Netflix. Tired? Surf the web. Putting off a project on your to-do list? Amazon.
It was becoming apparent that my kids were shutting their brains off and going into feeding mode WAYYYYYYY to often. I would ask them to do something that required a little bit of brain power and they would give up 2 seconds into it. I would ask them to go play in the basement and they would go down there for 2 minutes and then fight and come back up. They were tech zombies and the brain-feast was their iPads.
So, I did it. I announced that we ALL will be taking a week off of all technology. This includes my wife and I. No social media. No scrolling through Instagram for hours aimlessly. No browser shopping on Amazon for stuff we don’t need. A complete cold-turkey reset. No iPad Netflix binging. Zip. Nada. Zero. It’s time to go Amish. Or more accurately I suppose, Mennonite.
Within 5 minutes, I regretted this decision. Everyone was freaking out. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth… and that was just from my wife. The kids took it worse. I was afraid I was going to wake up in a bathtub full of ice with a note about my kidneys laying on my chest. I think Savannah, my youngest is capable of much worse. (I’m terrified of that little girl.)
It seems really fast, but something amazing happened around the third day. I looked up from a book and everyone was coloring or doing puzzles. The boys made the sword of Gryffindor out of Kinex and were busy slaying Horcruxes. The girls were playing house and doing makeup. We went for a walk every night.
It’s like we hit a reset button. And out of that choice, creativity started to find a place in our busy hearts and heads.
When you give imagination SPACE to grow, it will. And it will do so quickly. Sitting down with blank sheets of paper and coloring with markers. Playing catch. Going for a walk and feeling the breeze. These are all good for the soul.
Breaks from social media make me a better person. I’ve realized that most social updates are from people bragging on the amazing things happening to them. This is fine, but when you have something to post everyday about LIFE CHANGING things … you’re lying. Life isn’t that kind. (though some people put all of their bad which is equally as gross). And in scrolling through the feeds, I slowly find myself becoming dissatisfied with my life. My accomplishments. I doubt myself and my progress.
Once that’s removed, a gratefulness for what I have is returned and I find myself present. This is where I’m at. Wanted to share in hopes of inspiring others to hit the reset button. It was worth it and we will definitely be doing this intermittently from here on.
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