Why We Turned the Computer Off For 30 Days and 5 Insights I Gleaned

|by | Simple Life

Does anyone else long for the “good ‘ol days?” I mean before Facebook, iphones, TV, up to the minute digital calendars, and our constant availability to anyone and everyone via technology? Back when things MUST have been simpler, slower, sweeter. Hand written notes and face to face conversations were the medium for communication, and relationships were king, not flashing screens.

To be honest, I’m young enough to not really remember those days, so I can more easily romanticize them. And that way of life holds some definite appeal for me. I like things to be simple, meaningful and slow. And mostly I like being with present people (in all senses of the word).

Despite all that, I’m amazed at how easily technology sucks me in. Click after mindless click, I sit at my computer or on my iphone engaging with content that isn’t really worth the time I’m giving it. My husband is guilty of the same.

But those aren’t the people we want to be.

So, one day… 30 days ago to be exact, my husband came home after work excitedly asking my thoughts on getting rid of our home computer.

As much as my heart affirmed his suggestion, my dreams of being a blogger left me conflicted. So instead, we opted for a 30 day fast from the computer. Now, to be clear, we still had access to email, etc. through our iphones or his work laptop, but we significantly limited our use of these as well. Most of our tech time happens on our awesome, dual-screen, high-powered desktop.

Was this fast difficult at times.Yes. Did I gain some valuable insights. YES.

Why We Turned The Computer Off for 30 Days

 

God opened my eyes to several things through this exercise.

  1. My children are FUN. They are way more fun than Facebook or Pinterest.
  2. I actually can stay on top of my housework. Huh! Who knew?! The computer was contributing to idleness in my life.
  3. Take computer time away from my husband, and I suddenly have my dream family. He’s more present, more helpful, more involved with the kids, and we do more of what I love: family outings, walks together, dates, household projects/chores. It just naturally follows because we’re looking for things to do, and I love it!
  4. I am shocked at the amount of time I was spending on the computer. Upon starting my fast, I was suddenly getting to bed earlier, waking up before my kids to spend time alone with God daily, and getting more done overall.
  5. And, mostly, real life is better. It’s fresh, it’s real. And I don’t want to waste it.
Is this an exercise that would benefit you? What might it mean for you to fast from technology? Set realistic goals. Maybe this means limiting your computer usage instead of eliminating it all together. Be sure to set an end date so you will know when you’ve succeeded! If you participate, tell us about your experience in the comments section or write about it on your blog and share the link below.
 

 

9 Comments

9 Comments on Why We Turned the Computer Off For 30 Days and 5 Insights I Gleaned

  1. Emily
    May 17, 2014 at 11:53 PM (3 years ago)

    I’ve been thinking about doing this exact thing. I feel like the glowing screens in our lives are sucking our time away. And I’m a little afraid that my children will do the same things to their children some day- ignore them, or be perpetually distracted. I think new boundaries just need to be reestablished.

    Reply
    • Katie Bennett
      May 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM (3 years ago)

      I agree. It’s alarming to think about the direction culture is going with regards to technology usage. I definitely benefited from taking a big step back, and I hope I will do so again in the future as needed to keep myself disciplined in this area!

  2. Susan
    May 18, 2014 at 6:44 PM (3 years ago)

    I SO agree with you on this! I see my grown daughters spending too much time on their Iphones, facebook, etc, while my grandchildren are in the same room. I just want to tell them to put those devices away and have fun playing with or just watching their kids play. I understand after a long day at work, they need to unwind, but I think setting a time limit is also a must.

    Reply
    • Katie Bennett
      May 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM (3 years ago)

      I know what you mean. At times I have been that mom, but at so many other times I look around at a park or playground and see moms ignoring their children in favor of a smartphone and it breaks my heart. It’s easy to get caught up in, but ultimately a tragic thing.

    • Kaidee
      May 23, 2014 at 5:54 PM (3 years ago)

      Susan, an idea.. what about if you took time to write a well-thought-out note to your daughters, to help them to see what they are missing out on and to exhort them to make the most of their time with their kids?
      We all need a bit of a loving kick-in-the-rear every now and then!

  3. Chrystal McEwan
    June 18, 2014 at 7:36 PM (3 years ago)

    Thank you for posting this!!! I know I would benefit from a technology fast! It crazy to see how easily I can get consumed spending a lot of time online!

    Reply
    • Katie Bennett
      June 19, 2014 at 8:56 AM (3 years ago)

      Chrystal, Thank you for the encouragement! I hear you. I was just talking about this with my husband again last night. I think we’re going to put up some new boundaries for ourselves because we feel like we’re “reverting.” If you try a media fast, please let me know what you’re doing and how it goes! I’d love to hear either by email embracingasimplerlife (at) gmail (dot) com, on my Facebook page, or here in the comments section. We can hold each other accountable!

  4. Elizabeth Vann
    June 7, 2016 at 11:38 AM (12 months ago)

    YES!!!!! I so so crave this. Last weekend we went to the beach and I decided before we left no facebook/social media the entire trip… none. Coming from someone who posts a picture or 2 from every event this was a big deal for me. I mean what in the world would I do if my fb friends didnt know my every move?!? 😉 This activity got me thinking about my true movites… are they to brag subconsciously? Are they to measure my self worth by comments/likes? I’m not 100% sure of my deep motives as Im still thinking on this but I would venture to think its a mixture of all of the above which is scary to think about. And would you guess…. we had THE BEST beach vacation I’ve had in a really really long time. The reason is simple. I was present. I was soaking in each moment and engaging. My girls behavior was MUCH better than normal and i dont think thats a coincidence… for once they didnt have to fight for my attention. wow. Its so encouraging to know other people have this same conviction. Oh the things we are missing out on if we let technology take over. Its absolutely an addition or can be if you let it be… i know it was for me. Great post!

    Reply
    • Katie Bennett
      June 10, 2016 at 3:00 PM (12 months ago)

      Wow Elizabeth, that is awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s incredibly inspiring! I’ve been feeling the need for a completely offline vacay. I actually wrote this post two years ago, and I haven’t done this again since then. Although lately I’ve been setting some really good boundaries, like no computer/phone browsing between 8:30-1:30 each day, and no Facebook/email/or blog work on Sunday. It has really helped me, but it’s also HARD because I’m using self-control, since it’s all at my finger tips.
      Katie Bennett recently posted…My New Glasses (you helped me choose) and My Latest Stitch Fix!My Profile

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