It’s become apparent to me lately that it is overwhelmingly easy to overdose on screen time. Between my phone, my computer and the TV, I’m finding I spend a significant about of time staring at a screen. With the growing Blog and the related Social Media it is simply par for the course. I’ve become acutely aware that from time to time, I need a break. The last month as I spent countless hours developing and learning my way around our new .com site I reached and realized my limits. At times I need to walk away from the screen due to the sheer frustration of developing my new site. Other times I needed to walk away as my body was telling me to do so. My mind was boogled, I had square eyes, and sometimes sore hands from endlessly holding my iPhone. This past week of March Break and Easter I took a much need break from the Blog and writting in general.
Now we are not a family that is overly devoted to our screens. Yes, we have a TV aboard. Most days, it’s not even turned on. I’ll admit I do like Tuesday night TV, it’s a night that I happily sit down to watch my favorite shows. The Boy occasionaly watches an hour or so of morning children’s shows on weekends, but never on school days. This is all mainly during the winter months, come summer we generally forget we even have a TV. Time to time we will watch a movie, usually it’s an underwater ocean exploration documentary sort, as the Boy refuses to watch anything else. Except for Around Cape Horn, he really likes that one! We also have a tablet, used primarily by the Boy for school work, and the reading and math applications as suggested by School. Gordon and I both have our respective iPhones, the source of all our news, and on which I primarily write for the blog. There are times when escaping to Social Media is a good break, a getaway of sorts and ideal for wasting time. Myself, I enjoy mindlessly searching Pinterest, and Instagram too. As a visual person I like pretty pictures.
Early on I made a conscious effort to avoid using my computer while the Boy was home. I’ve found truth in the notion that kids compete for your attention when you are staring at a screen, computer, iPhone or otherwise. It also stands to reason that I can’t concentrate wholly on whatever work/ scrolling I may be doing AND properly oversee my child. As he has grown older this has changed somewhat. I feel the Internet will play a vital role in our Son’s education and his life in general in the years ahead but for now, I hold fast to my rule of keeping the computer stowed away and the iPhone down when the Boy is home. I greatly enjoy the time I steal away to write, writing in itself is an entirely new medium for me. It’s me time, my creative time. What I have subsequently wholeheartedly realized, is that there is a balance required to maintain the Blog and Social Media, but also, and more importantly, to be a present Parent. This age of 6 is a pretty funny age. Our Boy comes out with the most hilarious of quips and I’d hate to miss them as I was caught up in the latest Facebook meme. We have attempted, with great results, to lay down our phones for those evening hours between 5:00 and the Boy’s bedtime. It isn’t always easy but as I write this now, I’m committing myself to further my efforts to establish and maintain a balance with screen time.
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