This past week we were given the challenge to unplug from a technology of our choice. While reading the Know When to Unplug Chapter from What Connected Educators Do Differently, I started to think about the ways that I engage with technology after I get home from school.
Here are the 5 categories of technology that I engage in each day once I get home. The list is not in a specific order of interest, but rather the sequence I engaged in most nights.
- Social Media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Second Grade Prep – Teachers Pay Teachers, Twitter and Pinterest
- Email – School and Personal
- Graduate School – Email and Homework
- Internet – Variety of Websites
Our challenge was to unplug in any way for the week, to think about unplugging in a different way each night, or to follow through with the same activities each night. The Know When to Unplug chapter discussed the three ideas of exercise, reading, and solitude.
Here is my response to the challenge:
I wanted to start with focusing on my school email. I am always checking to see that I did not miss any information, or a parent note or even a reminder for something the next day. I check my email at least 10 times once I get home and truthfully there is probably only 1 or 2 emails each time, most spam emails from technology companies.
During the challenge: I did not find this to be too hard, I made sure that I had finished my emails before leaving for the day. This made me feel more prepared and less anxious about my communication. When I got to school the next day, I only had 10 emails (7 which needed to be deleted as spam) and I felt much better about the challenge.
Slip-ups: I had a meeting before school and needed to get an email to another teacher. I was not checking my email that morning,but rather using it communicate before our meeting.
After I have finished my schoolwork and homework for the night, I can spend up to 1 hour carelessly catching up with posts on Instagram and Facebook. This is not a good use of my time and does not help me with my schoolwork or homework. I also will engage in social media before going to bed, unnecessarily extending my bed time.
During the challenge: This was not hard for me to do. I was proud of myself for stopping my social media engagement and I even decreased my time throughout the day. It did not seem as important to me during the past week.
Slip-ups: While my husband and I were watching tv on Saturday night, I was looking at social media and it was after 9:00pm. I had not consciously watched the clock, but I did stop and focus solely on the television.
Reading Before Bed
I have received the last 3 months of my Real Simple magazine and have managed to put the magazine to the side to engage in other activities. I wanted to make sure that I put time aside to read a physical magian (not on technology) before going to bed.
During the challenge: I have finished 2 out of the 3 magazines and I am half way through the third one. This was the most successful part of the challenge. I noticed how well I slept during the night and I went straight to sleep.
When I get home it is either too late to go outside and exercise or all I feel like doing is sitting on the couch. I wanted to try to sit a schedule to go outside at least 3 times this week.
During the challenge: On Monday I got home from school, put on my exercise gear and got outside. It felt wonderful to be outside in the fresh air and stretch my legs. Unfortunately that was the only day.
Slip-ups: I did not follow through with this part of the challenge. ON Wednesday it was after 7:00pm when I got home and on Friday, I could not bring myself to exercise. My husband and I did make up the exercise on the weekend, and spent most of Saturday walking and being outside. The weekends are normally the days that I get to exercise.
After this week of unplugging, I noticed that I managed my time and was finished with schoolwork/ homework a lot earlier. This gave me more free time as well as time to relax after the day. When I set a schedule or a challenge for myself, I am more likely to follow through. I am going to try to incorporate these challenges into my week.
How do you unplug?
What are some activities that you want to decrease during the week?
What tips do you have to unplug?