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The Screen-Free Experiment

A few weeks ago one of my co-workers presented me with a challenge that he thought would be impossible for me to complete: Go 48 hours without using any electronic devices (no cellphone, iPad, computer, or television).

Immediately, I rejected this idea as pure and utter insanity, as I rely heavily on each of these devices on a daily basis (hence the reason for the challenge).

After voicing my concerns about the length of time, I decided to instead test myself and see if I could be “screen-free” for a mere 24 hours.

One day without technology didn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal, so today (Wednesday) happened to be one of my days off for the week (about 75% or more of my job requires looking at either computer or phone screens, so any workday was automatically out of the question) and I tentatively scheduled this day for my screen-free day. I knew that I wouldn’t be driving anywhere requiring GPS, and that everything else I planned for the day could be accomplished without gadgets or tv (the highlights of my plans were to clean, do laundry, and try out a few new recipes).

This would have been an excellent plan if I had had the foresight to print out my recipes in advance, because shortly after waking up, I realized my mistake and remembered the recipes were bookmarked on my phone. I could have “cheated” and looked anyway without counting that time, but instead I’ve decided to reschedule the day of no gadgets or screens and will try again two short days from now, on Friday.

This time I will be better prepared and make sure any Internet or “screen” things I need are printed out in advance– that’s a fair compromise in my book. It will be interesting to see how different the day is with the absence of all of my handy little screens.

I’m halfway looking forward to this challenging experiment, but also halfway to a panic attack because I kind of have a slight attachment to my phone and other gadgets– or it might be more than a slight attachment and truly a complete dependence on these devices to get me through the day.

Once this little experiment is over, I plan on posting a followup with the results, and if I was able to make it the full day or if I caved.

Have you ever tried going “screen-free” for any length of time? If so, I’d love to hear how it went and what obstacles you came across or what you learned while not attached to a screen.

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