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April 30th-May 5th is Ditch Your Device Week
This week sounds easy enough, but can we all go an entire week without using our devices? In any given day, I use my phone to wake up in the morning, manage my schedule, complete work communications, chat with friends, read the news, and take photos. And, that is only my phone. I also have multiple game consoles, two computers, and an e-reader to sate me, so I rely heavily on my devices.
Giving up any device for a day, let alone a week, is a daunting task. Perhaps, impossible. However, there are efforts I plan to take to curb my screen addiction.
First Stop: Television
As a Netflix and Hulu subscriber for years, I have spent countless (I repeat, countless) hours binge-watching shows from Veronica Mars to House of Cards. But, I never really stopped to think how much time I spent watching each show. I used the site Tii.me to calculate the time spent on each show and also compile a total number of hours for everything I watch. It seems harmless at first—the show Arrow has only two seasons, so its time measures roughly a day and a half. But once I started adding in my other favorites, the minutes, the hours, and the DAYS piled up.
I stopped to think:
- Do I actually even remember what happened during the first season of most of these shows? Not really.
- Did I accomplish anything while watching the shows? It’s minimal.
I even caught myself multitasking with three screens: watching television while pinning recipes on my laptop and simultaneously texting with a friend on my phone. What is that? This lead me to realize that I am wasting precious, precious hours on television shows that I have no investment in.
Now what? I think it’s time to tone down on the binge-watching and instead focus on other endeavors, like accomplishing my goals. Already in the past two weeks, I have started a new journal and began riding my bike outdoors again. While I have not quit watching television, I have made a concentrated effort to turn off the screens, and I feel much better.
Next Up: Facebook
Now, I realize this may not be pertinent to everyone, but as someone who has witnessed the magic of Facebook for years, I have become guilty of reloading the app multiple times in an hour just to see what’s new (which is very little). I won’t deny that Facebook is amazing—it has helped me reconnect with two of my elementary school teachers, kept me in the loop while studying abroad in Ireland, and allowed me to share the news of my engagement with long-distance friends. But, it can be abused.
Since I can’t get rid of my phone for a week, my personal plan has been to erase distractions. This means deleting the Facebook app. If I need to check Facebook, I can find a computer and dedicate actual time and effort rather than allowing it to be a diversion for my current focus.
These moves may seem minor, but I look forward to focusing my time off of the screen and on to other parts of my life, such as spending more time outdoors, contacting people by phone (or even better, in person!), and increasing my reading load. If my current moves have been successful, then I am sure I’ll be in tip-top shape by the end of summer.
What about you? Please let us know what you’re doing for “Ditch your Device Week” below, and check out the Ditch Your Device Week events taking place in the library system.
Stephanie is a volunteer from Ohio who cannot wait for summer!