As homemakers its easy to spend too much time behind the screen. We know it isn’t good for us. And yet? It’s so easy to do! A little here, and little bit there and bam! we’ve lost 2 hours in our day.
Ever needed a nap but decided to quickly pop online instead? I have! Know what didn’t happen? The nap! And sometimes, it’s dinner. The laundry. Times of reflection and prayer. Dishes. Getting out. Exercise. Seeing friends, even!
The screen can compliment our lives. Certainly! But it can also hinder us from leading a full, rich life.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SCREEN TIME
When I first began examining my life, the screen came up as a problem. And so? I knew it was time to take an honest look. May I encourage you to do the same?
Allow me to 100% truthful? After tracking my screen time, I was disturbed and more than a bit embarrassed by the results. Motivation for change was high after I realized I had allowed the screen to inhibit my personal life, home and relationships.
And so, let’s talk about screen time. About television. Netflix. Surfing the web. Social media platforms? Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the others?
Let’s talk about the notifications that go off on your phone every 5 minutes. The way we constantly check our social media accounts throughout the day. Browsing that happens when we’re ‘bored.’
GETTING REAL AND DIRTY
Homemakers (and particularly those with children) often feel that there’s not enough time in a day. Not enough for home cooking. To keep the house clean. For personal time. God time. We’d love to have _________________over for dinner but there just aren’t enough hours in the day!
Perhaps so. We all face crazy seasons in life. I certainly wouldn’t wish be hard on anyone who is in the middle of such a time.
Based on personal experience, I also know the screen can suck more than a few hours in a week. Perhaps, if better managed, you could find time for rest, meal prep, for refreshing yourself? Consider the possibility by playing a game with me!
THE HUMBLING GAME
This game is called ‘Humbling the Homemaker.’ Guaranteed to make the cheeks flush red!
Warning: you may want to play in the closet because it can be downright embarrassing. And if you squirm in your chair for a week afterward, you’re not alone. I had the same symptoms!
The rules are simple: track your screen time for the next 3-5 days. Record how much time you spend behind the screen by using the timer on your phone. Interesting note: also record where you spend time and you’ll soon discover your nemesis!
If your phone is the primary screen used, you can download an app that will track everything for you!
At the end of each day, record your hours. Do so for the next 3-5 days. Find your average, then multiply it by 7. How much extra time could you have in a week? Multiply 7 days by a month. A year?
Is it possible you could have more time than you first realized? What if you primarily stuck to ‘necessary’ screen time and avoided browsing?
IT CAN WAIT
Consider cutting back on screen time! What does it matter if your friend posts on Facebook and you don’t see it until the following day? If your sister Instagrammed (is that a word?!) a photo of her baby boy and you discovered it several days after?
Neither the child nor the information will change in a few day’s time, will it?!
IS EXCESSIVE SCREEN TIME A SYMPTOM OF A DEEPER PROBLEM?
I believe the screen is a wonderful tool, one that can truly benefit our lives. But I also know from personal experience that it can also hinder the quality of life we live.
When loneliness comes a-visiting, we hit up facebook. If we’re feeling tired and need sleep, it’s easy to surf the web instead. Discontent with the house? Hu-u-u-llo Pinterest! Look at all the wonderful ideas and beautiful homes…that will never become a reality for us.
Gals, let’s think about this!
Loneliness indicates that we need relationships in our lives. How does staring at a screen help the situation or enable you to move forward?
When you’re tired and the body is begging for sleep, does browsing the web give you rest and the re-charge you desperately need?
If we’re discontent with our home, how will looking through picture-perfect Pinterest houses improve the situation?
Do you see what I began seeing? All too often the screen takes us away from what will truly benefit our lives. Instead of being a positive influence, it drains us!
HOW DO WE MANAGE THE SCREEN?
Some of you may be tempted to cut the screen out entirely. Perhaps you need the reset! But as mentioned above, the screen isn’t bad. It’s a tool that needs to be used in the proper place at the proper time, in a way that benefits our lives. Here are a few tips for management:
Remove Notifications: get rid of notifications on your phone because they will serve as a distraction.
Get Accountability: tell someone about your resolve and ask them to check in with you during the first month. Even better, go through this series with someone and hold one another accountable.
Choose a Time of Day: You may want to choose a specific time during the day for ‘screen stuff.’ Or, you may want to hold it loosely (as I have), determining to go online only after you’ve completed your morning to-do list. Try to choose a time in your day that is low in productivity.
Do Important Things First: check email. Quickly pop onto facebook and check for messages or notifications. Do the same for other social media accounts. Respond to those who need to be responded to. And then? Give yourself time to browse, if desired.
Limit Screen Time: set a cap for yourself…and a timer. If there’s still time after you’ve accomplished the important thing, go ahead and browse. Read. Research. And when the timer goes? Get yourself offa there!
Still struggling? Check out the video on my facebook page for another tip!
What say you? Time to take control of the screen in your home so that you can actually live a better life?
Let’s carry on to part 6 on exercising for health’s sake!