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Turn off screens and LIVE life.

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One afternoon, my daughter woke up cranky from a nap so I created a plane for for her out of a shipping box that had just arrived. She co-piloted the jet with one of my old Cabbage Patch Kids. I pretended to be an air traffic controller using sparkly pom-poms. This never would’ve happened if I switched on the TV to get rid of her bad mood.

I’ve become a little too connected in recent years. I became an e-mail addict freshman year of college. I got a cell phone right after September 11th. An iTouch came into my life in 2008, followed by an iPhone in late 2011. Recently, I added an iPad to the mix. That’s a lot of technology! As a result, I put limits on my technology use:

  • I don’t check my smart phone at the table.
  • I turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature on my iPhone from 9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.
  • I don’t use my laptop in front of my daughter, which means I have to work when she’s sleeping or when someone else can care for her.
  • I refrain from Twitter during Shabbat and major Jewish holidays.
  • I don’t text since I find it cumbersome to have yet another thing to check (even though it makes me the butt of jokes since I might be one of the only people in their mid-30’s who doesn’t text!).

Screen-Free Week goes from Monday, April 29th – Sunday, May 5th. While it might seem drastic and unfeasible to completely unplug, think about what steps you can take to be less connected next week (i.e., to just use the computer for work-related purposes). Turn-off the TV to read or write. Step away from the computer and get outdoors. Power-down your tablet and draw. The possibilities are endless!

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play, technology

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.

3 thoughts on “Turn off screens and LIVE life. Leave a comment

    • Thanks! I’m not very crafty. As you may’ve noticed, the front panel is a cockpit, the side panel is first class (b/c what two year-old doesn’t want to travel in style?), and other side panel is the exterior of the plane. Point is, she had a great time playing in it for a couple of days while I was doing air traffic control with pom-poms. But that’s another story…

      Good luck setting the limits on your tech usage. I promise it will pay off!

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  1. Great post and very true. We are all guilty of being ‘taken over’ by modern technology and it’s sometimes hard to remember to spend time doing other things. With the latest smart phones you can do so much and it can be hard to make a point of putting it down and not looking at it! I admire you down time approach and think we can all learn a lesson from that! Thanks for a great post.

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