How much of the day are you plugged in? Do you consciously set aside offline time, or does it happen whenever it happens?
Am I ever unplugged? I am not sure I can ever be totally unplugged. I have a smart phone, an iPhone that travels with me from room to room. You could say that I break into a sweat and my breathing is slightly panicked when I can’t find my phone. That a search party consisting of my kids and myself is sent out and doesn’t stop until the phone is found. The phone is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I check before sleeping.
The depth of my obsession gets deeper the more stressed out I become. Folding myself into a smaller and smaller posture until my nose is practically touching the screen. Until someone, usually my husband or the hyena like cries of my young demanding food, calls out to me to rise out of the self-imposed abyss that is my iPhone addiction. The constant need to know and be in touch is a powerful drug and I can’t say that I will ever recover from its pull.
I do notice that my attitude is generally happier and lighter when I’m not constantly plugged in. On the days I turn off my computer and focus on my kids and life I feel better and more accomplished. I know that life doesn’t seem so dastardly when I look up and off my computer screen. These are the antidotes to the poison that is screen time addiction. The sweet milky breath of my two year old and the awkward joke telling of my nine year old are far more entertaining than getting the high score on Angry Birds. The siren call of my iPhone is drowned out by my seven year old telling me about his friends at school.
So yes, I do have an addiction to screen time. Some days the pull is stronger than others, but I try to be conscious about turning off the computers, phone, television and focusing on the life that is actually happening. We do live in a digital age and I won’t pretend I don’t love the convenience of that. But real life doesn’t happen on a screen, it happens in the face to face interactions we have with one another. May you and I never lose sight of that.