Screen Free Week – Day Seven

On Sunday, I called my parents who live in the Dominican Republic and wished my mom a happy Mother’s Day. The Mother’s Day is on the last Sunday of the month for the country so my mom didn’t expect a happy anything. She obliged me anyway. Then I called my close friends who are mothers and wished them a great day. 

After a lovely nap, I got ready to meet up with my book club in the Richmond District in SF. We met at Buckshot Bar and Gameroom. Our discussion lasted all of forty minutes; the rest of the time we played Skee-ball which was so much fun! Books and games – a fantastic mix. Because I live in Oakland, my trek was so far and by the time I arrived, it was 9 pm. I was so knocked out from the two drinks I had (I know, Two drinks!) I promptly fell asleep.

I had a lovely weekend and guess what? I survived!!! No media (except for Saturday which was with people) and I came out unscathed.

Lessons learned:

My love affair with moving pictures started pretty young. I didn’t become a big bookworm until the third grade so before that, my life revolved around watching TV. This was a family affair. We would watch movies in the living room or I would cuddle up with my mom or dad (or both) in their bedroom and watch whatever was on HBO (the only cable channel we had before we even had cable proper). My dad even pirated VHS movies before the disclaimer for the home’s personal collection; he never sold any movies to anyone. Plus, everyone else was doing the same thing! TV became my friend. I was a latchkey kid so I’d get home and turn on the TV, wait for my mom to get home so she’d make dinner. My dad would be working and if he were home, would be relaxing after a hard day’s work. The common thread throughout my life was the TV. My dad always had the TV on during dinner, first thing in the morning, fall asleep to the moving images on the screen, have it on when company came over. Needless to say, our home was only quiet if no one was around. I learned the habit of turning the tube on as soon as I walked in the door. My life revolved around TV shows, talk shows, etc.

As I got older, my viewing habits changed. I became a much more active media consumer due to my Communications degree. I started paying attention to how I consumed media and became pickier about the programs I watched. I changed my relationship with TV. I refused to own one in my bedroom because I never fell asleep to the tube anyway. I turned off the TV when I was hosting company. I mostly turned on the tube when I wanted to relax after work (like my dad).

Before this fast, this was exactly what I’d do. I’d turn on the TV and look for something to watch. As much as I enjoyed watching my favorite and new TV shows, I never got anything done. Time would fly and I’d have to settle into my “going to bed” routine with no lunch or dinner made (cereal was my go to meal).

During this fast, however, I paid close attention to how I used my time. People lose time every day. Wasted time on the superfluous. I’m not saying I’m going to stop watching moving pictures because that’s unrealistic for this cinephile. If time is used effectively, you feel so accomplished. This is how I felt for the past week. Self-discipline is important. I came to the page every day (except for the last two days because I was so tired) and I will continue doing so until next month. And today (Monday) knowing my fast was over, I opted to blog before I jumped into watching my favorite TV shows (how I love Mad Men – another post for that delicious show later as well).

I think everyone should participate in this Screen Free Week challenge. You de-clutter mentally and are able to focus on what’s important. I’ll continue to do this for as long as I live (and/or remember to participate) and seriously encourage everyone to do so next year. I sure will. And will blog about my days too!

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more adventures from this writer!



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