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Friday, 24 October 2014

T minus 30 minutes

In half an hour, I'm turning the Internet off for a week.

(Just in this house. Don't worry. I don't have power over the whole Internet. Though the Littlest Latte did ask.)

It's all the fault of this book - Susan Maushart's The Winter of our Disconnect - which I borrowed from the library. In it, a single mother of three teenagers turns off all the screens for six months, backed up by Henry David Thoreau and a shedload of academic studies. During the six months, one of her children bakes cakes, one becomes a fantastic saxophone player and the other one rings people up a lot.

I was entranced. And despite the fact that we don't even own a saxophone, I am confident that a screen-free half term will change my entire family for the REST OF THEIR LIVES, and that we will all become spiritually and emotionally balanced individuals, discovering the pleasures of intelligent conversation, literature, handicrafts and Deep Thought.

In a few moments I shall unplug the TV, the PC, and the little black box thing that connects us to the Internet. I shall make a little pile of switched-off mobile phones. I texted friends this week to tell them they would have to use the landline to call me.

I got a number of texts back, most using the word 'brave'. Feel free to leave a comment along the same lines. I won't see it for a week, mind. I'll be over here in Deep Thought, and not thinking about wanting to watch Netflix at all.

16 comments:

  1. A great idea, I hope you enjoy it. The children don't get much time with electronic stuff here, and I'm sure they are happier and healthier for it. (Not saying that to be smug or anything, I've just found they get a bit grumpier if there is regular tv). No doubt it will take a couple of days to get used to, but hopefully then you will all appreciate it. CJ xx

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  2. Good luck! Wish I was as brave - and not so addicted myself too! X

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  3. I wish you luck, m'dear. I shall be interested to read your report when it is over.

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  4. You are my new hero. I can't wait to see what you say at the end of it. Bloody good show.

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  5. In fact, so taken am I with the concept, I have just ordered a copy of same book. I am thinking of giving up alcohol for November, so not sure I can take a hit with cyber space too. You can get a kindle copy too.
    This irony is not lost on me.

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  6. Oh gosh, well done, shall wait with bated breath. Well, with occasional breath or else won't live to see the result. We don't have cable, here in US so not much TV, but must admit, the iPad is never far from me while at home.....along with the coffee pot.

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  7. Oh I can not wait to hear how you all get one

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  8. I think the word I used insane............. and you have no idea how frustrated I was earlier when I went to send you a ridiculous text and then realised there was no point..............

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  9. I wait with baited breath to see how you get on - assuming it's not such a roaring success that you never return! But I fear that it's not ever likely to happen in this house - I used up all my reserves of patience and parental self sacrifice when they were toddlers.

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  10. Good luck and cant wait to hear how it has gone (I found that after the initial cold turkey during the broadband downtime disaster I did find I was wasting less time fiddling away on the internet and I did do more creative things....)

    And the saxophone? You need to get one and start learning

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  11. well well well,if you're all still alive when you read this, let us know how it went...

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  12. I hope you area all surviving the screen fast! I do agree with the first comment above, I definitely notice the grumpiness in my three children when they've been glued to whichever screen for any length of time. I'd much rather they were lost in a good book or throwing flour everywhere making biscuits. We did get out a pack of cards and teach ours a few games the other night, and vowed to try and fit a lot more board games and such in, and fewer films and mario tournaments. I'm not sure how long we would survive complete radio silence for though! Good on you!

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  13. Interesting project Coffee Lady and I do hope it is a positive experience for your family. Maybe my family is a bit odd but we find our screens to be positive and life-enhancing things.The weird/ridiculous/inane/fascinating/amazing/interesting things we come across on the internet stimulate much lively conversation and debate around the dinner table. Screens are a godsend when you have a child at university, texting is such an easy way to touch base with them and transferring cash into their accounts with internet banking is a lifesaver. We love being able to connect with our friends in a multitude of different screen-related ways and I'm afraid to say if it weren't for screens I would have no women friends. Shocking but true. Also I would not read half as widely as I do. Of course I know all these things are possible without screens but boy am I glad I have them, and still music is made in our house, cakes are baked, books are read, walks and cycle rides are taken and we talk to each other.

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  14. Well done Coffee Lady, great idea and I hope it went well (there would be a mutiny here from a certain teenage girl) x

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  15. HELLLOOOOO??!!! Are youback withus?

    (excusedodgy typing there'sacrumb under my spacebar)

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  16. Um.....should we call someone, do you think?

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