Tuesday, May 12, 2015

8 Rules for Responsible Screen Time - For Moms

Participating in Screen Free Week has made me think about how much of my life is spent watching, rather than doing, and I am not okay with the ratio!  So I have brainstormed 8 rules that will help me (and hopefully you!) be more intentional with my time.

1. No screen time until my work is done
2. If the kids are around, screens are not
3. Keep Facebook "decluttered"
4. Don't fall for "click-bait"
5. Bingeing is bad
6. Set clear limits
7. Hold yourself accountable
8. It is okay to be bored

If you click on any of the rules if will link to a post elaborating on the thought behind the rule, as well as ideas on how to implement them.  I also am thinking I will make my first printable, so check back soon for that!

What are your screen time rules you have for yourself?  Are they different than for you kids?  What is the hardest thing about limiting screen time?

Don't Fall For Click-Bait (or Go Down the Rabbit Hole) - Screen Time Rule #4

Click-bait is all the things that are written in a way that makes you want to click them, usually going to a dumb slideshow that you get halfway through before realizing that you actually don't care about "27 things you never knew about...".

Some things are not actually click-bait, and might be perfectly interesting or insightful articles or posts.  But they still lure you down the rabbit hole of endless "internetting".

I am going to try to combat this by adding all the links that interest me to a bookmark folder, which I will title with the date.  The next time I use the computer I will open a few of them up if they still interest me.  If they don't I will delete the folder entirely.  The reality is that I DON'T need to see most of the internet, it is just time-sucking brain clutter!

I plan to have a few blogs that I check frequently (Free Range Kids1000 Hours Outside, and a couple more) and anything outside of that will be bookmarked for later, then deleted if I forget about it.

One exception to this rule is link-up parties, where you should definitely click and read, then interact right away.  That is just good blogger etiquette!

Check out all my Rules for Responsible Screen Time here.

Keep Facebook Decluttered - Screen Time Rule #3

The average person has 153 Facebook friends.  I actually pulled that number out of thin air.  I am writing this down in a notebook since it is (was) Screen Free Week, and couldn't look up the number.

Whatever the number is* I am sure it is way higher than the number of real life friends you have.  I am also pretty sure that it is higher than the number of  people you really care to get constant updates from.

Here are some things I am going to do to help streamline my Facebook feed and give me less to look at everyday.

  • Stop following things I don't care about.  Yes, I like to drink Dr. Pepper, but that doesn't mean I need to "like" Dr. Pepper.  Same goes for TV shows.  I don't need to be able to share my opinion about the last episode of "The Last Man on Earth" (I thought it was awesome), and I don't need to know what other viewers thought.
  • "Unfollow" the groups that I belong to.  I don't know about you, but seeing everything that is for sale in my town is a bit time consuming, and fairly boring.  If I want to shop, I can go to the group page. Other pages are more "advice-y" and REALLY end up being time-sucks.  I am not going to leave the group because sometimes I get good advice, but I am going to unfollow it, so I don't feel compelled to help everyone with every problem they come up with.
  • Unfriend anyone that I wouldn't be happy to run into in the grocery store.  If they are family, just unfollow them so as not to cause any hurt feelings.
  • Stop liking stuff!  When you like a public picture it often ends up in your friends' newsfeeds.  So unless you WANT your friends to see it, just like it in your head, and resist the urge to confirm it with a click.
How do you keep your Facebook feed in check?

Check out all my Rules for Responsible Screen Time here.

*The actual number is 350, with the 18-24 demographic having about 659!

If The Kids Are Around, Screens Are Not - Screen Time Rule #2

Do as I say, not as I do is a recipe for failure when it comes to training children.  Right now my kids are little enough I can get away with it, but it is a bad habit to start, and one that I am trying to be better about.

No one wants their kid spening all their free time with various devices.  We want them to DO stuff, not just watch stuff.  But often times we set an example... one that we don't want them to follow.  If we want our kids to experience life, we need to demonstrate that it is worth experiencing.

I am not someone that believes our lives should completely revolve around our kids.  I do not think I need to entertain them.  I have plenty of other jobs pertaining to them: cook, maid, teacher, driver, police officer (LOL) just to name a few, and I won't add entertainer to my list.  Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, and I think it is important to interact with them, which I do, A LOT!  I read to them, snuggle them, do projects with them, and take them outside,  Yes, I do play with them, but not all of the time.  Most of the time I leave them to play and I do grown-up stuff.  Which is a good thing if what I am teaching them is that adults need to be productive (as in doing housework or productive hobbies).  But it is pretty "unawesome" if I am teaching them that adults need their space to stare at screens uninterrupted.

Screen based "passtivitities" split our attention.  We are not able to give focus to our kids AND our devices at the same time.  Kids do NOT need constant focus, but when we ARE spending time with them, we should be respectful and pay attention to them, not make them compete with Words with Friends or whatever the cool kids are playing these days.

You will never look back and wish you spent more time with screens.  You might look back and wish you had set a better example.

Check out all my Rules for Responsible Screen Time here.