A friend and colleague of mine recently posted an “unplugged challenge’’ for kids and families to do over the summer. It encourages children to spend more time outside, and less time in the house, in front of a screen. I adore this idea, as it has so many benefits for everyone in the family. Check it out here for all the details.
I also loved the fact that this teacher in particular had posted it, as like me, she works in a school where kids are encouraged to discover the world through technology. There are ipads in classrooms, green screens to create with and apps for just about everything. Even mathematics has been gamified. I’m in awe when my kids are begging me to play Dreambox before dinner! Maths is now officially cool.
So reading about this challenge from someone who supports the educational value of technology was reassuring. We can approach tech use and screen time in a balanced way. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Your task this week is to use all the tech and screens you want during the day. Explore, connect, design and discover. Go crazy and change the world. But keep the hour before you go to bed, tech and screen free. Amish style.
Step 16 – Create an Amish Hour before bed.
Most people think the Amish shun all technology but that isn’t the case. They are just very selective about how and when they use it.
For me, Amish Hour is a mini version of the unplugged challenge. It’s the perfect way to balance the amazing world of tech, tv and internet with the calm your body needs to promote restful and recuperative sleep.
What does it involve? Literally nothing! No technology or screen time before bed. If you want to go the whole hog then no electricity at all! Bring out the candles. Write a letter, read a book, do some yoga. Give yourself some time to just think. Just be. Do nothing…..It’s such a simple concept, but a powerful one.
Try it for one night this week. Then two nights next week….you get the idea.
But what if I relax watching TV at night!?
Don’t get me wrong, I like watching TV too. And checking instagram for ideas. And pinning things on Pinterest for my dream living room or craft ideas I will never actually do!
But the blue rays that screens emit seriously mess with our sleep patterns if we use them before we go to sleep. We don’t need to be fearful of using technology and screens in our daily lives as the benefits really are enormous, but the blue light crap is real, and it interferes with our body’s production of melatonin which in turn screws with our sleep. And we all know what happens when you don’t sleep well. You’re no good to anyone!
So watch TV if you want, but just remind yourself to turn it off the hour before you plan to go to bed.
Let me know how your Amish Hour goes via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – but obviously just not in the hour before bedtime! 😉
Over and out.