After last year's January Cure, and last year's media fast, I suddenly became aware of the amount of time I spent "plugged in", particularly to the internet. It was as though my sense of hearing, so to speak,about my use of technology was heightened after being exposed to the silence of it. And that's when I realized, I was choosing the internet over my kids.
I don't think I'm addicted to the internet - I'm not a heavy internet user, and I don't even own a smart phone, but after that media fast, I suddenly became aware that those little moments I had of checking my email here and there, or updating Facebook every now and then, that all of these were actually affecting my whole day. I realized that because of this constant outside-the-home connection, my mind and attention was not inside the home, with my family.
So, in the past year, I actually started putting my laptop in the closet during the day. I still use the internet in the mornings, afternoons and evenings (when my husband is at home), but while it's just Ralph, Ivy and myself, the three of us do chores together, play together and have the full attention of one another.
As a result, this year was not so hard for me to close the laptop, switch off the TV - I'd already been doing this, to a degree, for almost 12 months. And I don't regret it one little bit! Sure, at first, it feels like you are depriving yourself of social engagement. But eventually all that did was make me get into the car and actually go and visit people!
The picture I used for this post was an image from last year's January Cure - an image of my bed, where I was about to hang out alone with my laptop. Here's what I was faced with this year, on that same date: my two kids, full of joy, playing dress up.
Just a little more fun, don't you think?
More on Alison's January Cure:
(Image credits: Alison Gerber)