Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Screen Curfew

I really, really hated the idea when Tim first suggested it. Anyone who knows us well enough know that we live in a 4-gadget-per-capita household (not even including the ones for work). We live online and on screen. Every spare moment is spent using a gadget of some sort, and we even wear some of ours. We talk to each other on Viber for more hours each day than we do in person. We both had to get corrective eye surgery at some point. We save all our information on multiple cloud programs. We never sell an electronic gadget without getting another one in its place.

You get the picture.

The above lifestyle is why the idea of a screen curfew - a set time when we would stop using gadgets before going to bed - sounded utterly ludicrous to me.

Why would we do that (because that's what my version of a supportive wife says)? I don't think it'll really help us sleep. Why an ENTIRE HOUR before we sleep?

It was a whole different story when we tried it.

Stopping our screen exposure for a set time before bed has lessened our entertainment options by a lot, but it's also helped us in so many other ways.

My reading habits have been restored to the classic and Christian over transient online updates. I don't go to bed with my head full of covetousness over everyone else's social media accounts. We actually talk to each other so much more in person instead of just sending each other web links of every kind. I've started journaling again, and our hearts are much more prepared for our bed-time prayers than they used to be.

I don't think we'll ever be permanently unplugged, and I don't particularly advocate that kind of lifestyle either. We live in a digital world, and we function well by reaching out to others and growing ourselves through platforms that are available online. But, that said, it's not a bad idea to take a break on a regular basis. It's a quiet time of sorts, a chance to rest and refocus.

While I still shout "No! Already?" almost every time our screen curfew hits, I've actually started to enjoy those parts of the evening better and better. Stopping screen use has become something beyond the physical. It's become a choice to detach ourselves from visual stimulation and to calm down our senses inside and out.

I don't know how long we'll manage to keep up this lifestyle, but I'd like to think we'll be enjoying these habits for quite a while to come.