When it comes to our family's use of technology, we are not green. We love our TVs, mobile devices and computers and use them all the time. But not yesterday. We decided to try a technology fast for 24 hours which we coined, "Wire-Free Wednesday." Here is how it went:
It all started with me waking up and not wanting to hear Caillou's whiny voice. If you don't know who Caillou is, you probably don't have a toddler. He's a four year old cartoon character out of Canada that is incredibly annoying to adults, but is apparently the Brad Pitt of toddler celebrities. Goose adores him.
When we woke up yesterday, Goose asked to turn Caillou on. I said Caillou was still sleeping so couldn't come on right away. She bought it, and found a toy to play with instead. I was curious to see when she would ask for TV again, but several hours went by without a mention. She also didn't ask to play with her iPad, and I didn't offer it. Again, just to see how long she would go before asking.
I decided if she wasn't going to use technology, then I could try going without as well. We would embark on a technology fast together. At least for a day. Well, at least for part of a day. I telecommute for work and NEED to log in for at least a few hours every day. But I challenged myself to not play online outside of those mandatory work hours as I usually do. If you know me, this is a big deal.
I took a deep breath, turned off my phone...
... and we colored. And colored. And colored.
We read books. And books. And books.
We took our time eating lunch out at our favorite spot, Food for Thought. Instead of looking at the clock to get to the next stop, we enjoyed our food and chatted with the employees and each other.
After lunch, while the girls napped for a few hours, I hopped online to get some work done. Because I wasn't surfing Facebook, I worked very efficiently and felt like I got plenty done by the time they woke up.
Before dinner, we took a nature walk, collecting interesting finds like pretty rocks and leaves. We talked to our kitties, climbed trees and chatted with neighbors.
We hunted for ripe sea grapes to eat (not easy, since the birds always find them first) and picked a bunch of pretty flowers in the yard to give to Grammy.
After our nature walk, we made black bean burgers with chebe buns and baked sweet potato slices entirely from scratch. We ate a bowl of fresh fruit for dessert, sang songs, read a few more books, got baths and went to bed without incident.
What was really neat about this (almost) technology-free experience was that we didn't have any altercations. Goose has been expressing some very unsavory "terrible two" behavior, tantruming over seemingly insignificant issues (wrong color bath towel, etc). But not yesterday. She had my full attention all day and was very charming to be around.
It was great being in the moment and not feeling rushed or distracted. It felt nice to not hear that dang Caillou in the background. But I will also admit that the day felt incredibly LONG. By the time we went to bed at 9:30pm, I was EXHAUSTED. I guess I didn't realize how much I rely on technology to be my babysitting helper.
I'm torn. In some respects, we've all had a great relationship with technology and don't necessarily want to break it off. But it does feel good to give it a break once in a while. So we will try to make this a weekly thing.
Wire-Free Wednesday has a nice ring to it.