photo of Marilee, Peter, Penny, and William on bikes

7 Things That Happened During Our Week Without Screens

For seven days, our family put down our devices (here’s why we did this). William found a friend to keep up his Snap streak. Marilee and Penny turned off their iPad and phone, respectively. Peter put his phone in a drawer. I ignored social media, email, and Marco Polo. (We kept my phone around so we could navigate, check the weather, and take photos.) 

So here’s what happened:

  1. We read books. Lots and lots of books. 
  2. We took our first family bike ride. Ever. (This may be the making of a whole other post, so I’ll just leave it at that.)
  3. We watched shows and movies. Together. Ted Lasso has become a part of our family lexicon. Now our kids at least have a reference point for the jokes we tell from Notting Hill. And then there was Barbie.
  4. We played cards.
  5. We watched the sunset. Yes, this was helped by renting a cottage on Martha’s Vineyard, so let’s be honest that I am never going to try this screen-time experiment in the midst of our every day life. But still. Even in a glorious setting, without putting the phones away, we would have missed a lot of glory out there.
  6. We ate lots of ice cream. 
  7. And then, towards the end of the week, Peter and I were lying in bed reading, and first Marilee came in and lay down between us, which she hasn’t done in years. She put her head on Peter’s chest, then flipped over and rested on me. William followed and lay down next to his dad. Eventually Penny wandered in, and all five of us were filling the bed, just talking and laughing and lying on each other. 

We’re back now, but I hope we’ll carry with us an awareness of how collective limits can open us all up to an abundance of love.

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