It has been over 2 weeks since I stopped letting technology babysit my family. 2 weeks since the Internet stopped intercepting imagination and 2 weeks since television stopped rotting the brain of my kids. The first week was rough. Like, “what the hell did I do, check these kids into rehab” bad.
It has also been over 2 weeks since I closed my social media accounts. I have not suffered any withdrawl or any negative, professional consequences.
I’m proud of myself for sticking to my promise to my children, that we’re “going old school.” Proud for moving beyond the first week of bitching and whining about life-threatening boredom.
I have to admit that it was a little sad, for me, as a parent, to drop the boxes off at Comcast. I felt like I was, essentially, returning Christmas.
The day I returned the cable modem, router, remote and cables was the week after I discontinued service. I put the stuff into a reusable Trader Joes bag and had them sit with it in the backseat. I left this errand last since Comcast is closest to our house. It was hard. I left them in the car and returned empty handed. They were very sad but I pretended not to notice.
I’m not anti technology, I believe it has a very important place in our lives. In my life the real issue was the convenience of technology. It was so convenient for me to lose myself in status updates when I wanted to mentally check out or binge watch TV shows when I needed to unwind at night.
Even easier was the ability for my kids to hop on YouTube and watch yet another mindless, useless minecraft video. Minecraft is a great game, I compare it to lego, but my kids would / could watch video after video.
I’m a single mom to 4 kids, I work at home and my oldest daughter has severe special needs. You can only imagine how quickly my kids lost themselves in technology when I was busy with work, laundry, meals, dishes, their sister, etc.
I was expecting their lego to be used again, and it is. I wasn’t expecting to find myself building along side them.
I wasn’t expecting my 11 year old daughter to fall in love with, and find tremendous solace in my music collection. Regina Spektor, TLC… RAP MUSIC. She has learned how the children of the 90s felt screwed when the radio skipped the rap at the end of TLC’s “Waterfalls” and has learned the rap to completion. I’ll skip over the part where she fell in love with Eminem and his rhymes. 🙂
The uno cards are being used, the drawing supplies are being put to use and they can take turns playing on the OFFLINE PS3. The Playstation was yet another vessel they used to ignore each other. Now they play together or sometimes spectate and offer encouragement. Sometimes they bitch that their sibling is hogging a super long turn but they’re working it out.
Rather than beg for a new $9.99 mod pack for a game, they’re begging to go to thrift stores to find VHS tapes.
I still work on websites from home, both my iPad and iPhone are marvelous at tethering. I’m now super mindful of how I spend my bandwidth and not to wander from my work.
I’m not immersed in finding out every last detail of the Producer and his wife who just had their only kids diagnosed with Batten Disease. I’m completely in the dark about the recent shooting and I expect to be in the same darkness for the next one.
I baked cookies tonight with my son from a recipe I found online. We had a conversation while he stirred and I measured, instead of him sneaking off to watch a video and me not noticing because I was on Instagram.
I’m embarrassed that so much of time and energy is gone and I blame myself completely.
I’m glad my children have relearned how to play, how to create and how to get along again. It’s not picture perfect but it’s much more old school and much happier in my home than it has been in a long time.