Part of getting back to my roots I believe means pulling away from the lures of technology. Although I ‘technically’ was born at the start of the millennial generation, I didn’t grow up with screens everywhere. I think we got our first family computer when I was around 7 years old and then it was a huge bulky monstrosity that sat in the basement corner. When I did use the computer, it was mostly for writing stories on WordPerfect. I didn’t have my own computer in my room for homework until at least grade 6. I got my first cell phone at the tender age of 28.
I have to use the computer for work and I do a lot of reading on topics related to traditional skills, gardening, sewing etc. But I still waste too much time incessantly checking social media and email. I am worried because now I have a toddler watching me. I really want her to grow up having real experiences and personal connections: things she won’t find on a screen.
I recently finished the book Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World. I wasn’t overly impressed with the novel. It didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know: screen time affects children’s ability to develop socially, they watch too much, and you should limit their use. But none the less it got me thinking.
I think my best strategy with such a young child (who doesn’t yet ask for screen time) is to live by example. Here is my plan to tackle my own screen time:
- Limit my own screen time to when baby is sleeping/napping. The exception is if I am using the screen to initiate activities with her (such as looking up the recipe for homemade playdough).
- Purge my social media of any groups or people that I never read/respond to so that I do not receive notifications or spend hours scrolling through news feeds.
- Don’t take my phone on outings to force myself to enjoy the moment rather than taking pictures of it.