Friday, January 13, 2012

Unplugged: Part One

In the midst of the droning hum of computers, appliances, and continuous music, my husband and I decided to do something different to welcome in the New Year.

But, let me back up for a moment.

A few months back I resolved to quit Facebook. And I'm happy to say that I'm still on that path. (Though I do answer messages and direct comments on my FB Wall-- which doesn't happen too often, thank goodness.)


I thought that quitting Facebook would be the cure for my Internet addiction, and while it helped, I still hadn't stopped wasting too much time online. (In fact, I began to substitute Pinterest for Facebook. Whoops.)


I prayed for help in kicking my addiction, and one day, in a rare quiet moment, the Spirit gave me the idea to have a media fast-- a week of disconnecting from the Internet, e-mail, movies, (we haven't watched television in years) and even eliminating listening to music from any machine. No i-Pods, i-Tunes on the computer, CD players, radios, nothing. (I did still allow my children to MAKE music on the various instruments in our house.)

I discussed the idea with my husband, and we both had a freeing happiness come over us. Ah, yes! This experiment was just the thing!

Now, we did have to create some exceptions for my husband. He is a web programmer, after all. But he decided to leave his work laptop at the office, and committed to joining us in the fast whenever he was home.

As we headed off to bed Sunday evening on January first, my husband shut down and even unplugged all three computers, our printer, the speakers, the wireless network and cable modem.

The silence was deafening.

The Switch

Monday dawned nice and early for us, Russell heading in to work before the sun rose.

I started thinking through a plan that Russell and I had discussed involving the switching of rooms with our seven girls so they would have more mirrors, more closet space, and more room for their baby sister. We felt that the media fast would be a great time to get this major moving project-- complete with "New Year Deep Cleaning"-- done. One major change that would HAVE to happen before switching was that the smaller room needed painting. For some strange reason, Russell just didn't like the idea of sleeping in a room with light lavender walls. (Go figure.) We decided to go to the home improvement store later that night to get some paint and supplies.

The kids and I had a hard time getting moving, but we eventually got the girls room packed up and  lots of my cluttered sewing supplies into boxes and put in the outbuilding in our backyard. (Hooray for strong teenage sons!)

When Russell got home he took the girls' bunk beds apart (and enormous job!), moved them into our front room, and the girls staked out spots on the couches to sleep on.

Day one ended with satisfaction, minimal whining, and that good, tired feeling that comes from working hard.

One day down, the new year was shaping up to look pretty good!


  1. Yeah! We did something like that when we moved to Missouri. It lasted for about two weeks. It was nice. We all came back to our lives with renewed interest in being frugal with our time.

    However, over the past two years we have returned to a few things I don't like. I ended up having set "Internet Time". Each person had one hour a day, including mom, to do our Internet work. That became a problem because my kids do some online classes. One hour a person was not enough for Nayna who does some college classes at BYU Idaho. We are revamping that schedule as part of our Six Month Inventory.

    I can't wait to hear what all you got done with the girl's room.

  2. great idea. I'm always amazed how quickly the computer and especially the internet rob me of my time and family. So much more is accomplished when I don't give in to time thieves.

  3. I used to have the same problem. Now I'm finding I have the opposite. I'm avoiding the pc when I really should be "working" on my site or writing a blog post. I'm thankful I've moved past it. Now to remember what I did...oh yes, I began a schedule for pc time and stuck to it pretty well. I do love checking out FB but I started limiting reading other's statuses and that cut down lots of time. Anyway, thanks for sharing. :)


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