Wednesday, October 14, 2015

6 Things I Learned From Being Without Cable & Internet

Recently my family took a break from cable and internet. Now before you think we intentionally took this break for many months as a way to save money, become screen free, or grow closer together, know that is not the case. This break was involuntary and was only 17 days. But, it seemed like forever.

Apparently our cable/internet line broke and they couldn't find where the break was to fix it. I almost feel sorry for the poor representatives having to hear my voice twice a day for 17 days. This mama wanted her services fixed and fixed fast.


While these 17 days were tough, I learned a few things.
  1. We missed doing puzzles and playing games. Our family loves to play board games and put puzzles together. But lately we have become so engrossed in screens that we haven't done these things. The day before our cable and internet quit working, I was frustrated with my kids constantly being behind a screen and not working together very well. I told my daughter to pick up a puzzle while she was at work. That night we sat at the kitchen table and worked together and laughed and had fun, without screens. The very next morning, no internet or cable. After the sudden shock wore off, we finished the puzzle and had fun.
  2. We are on screens too much. My husband and sons watch a lot of reality car shows on tv. They love these shows. And that is okay. We all love watching sporting events on tv. And that is okay. My daughters and I love to watch Hallmark movies. And that is okay. We also love to play video games together, surf social media, and look up new recipes and crafts. And that is okay too. I am okay with video games. I actually like when my kids and husband play video games because I love the laughter and love them working together. But when tv, video games and internet are taking over so much of our day and night, there is a problem. We will now be working on a more strict no screen plan for our family.
  3. Screens can distract us from God. When we are so enthralled by screens, it can be easy to rush through a quiet time with God. We should never, ever, ever replace time with God with screens. Screens themselves are amoral. But when we are spending more time looking up how to have a Bible study, than just reading the Bible or spend more time looking up worship songs on youtube than actually worshiping God, there is a problem.
  4. Life with internet is too easy. I use GPS on my phone all of the time. I don't like getting lost, it really stresses me, and I am not good with directions. So GPS is my friend. My very good friend. I want my kids to know how to use this tool too. However, even more so, I want my kids to know how to read a map. There is a gift in being able to pull out a map and actually know what you are looking at. I also want my kids to know how to use a dictionary. Every time my kids need to know a word, I say, "Look it up." To them, that means asking Siri or googling it. No no no kids! Get a dictionary and look it up! The internet is convenient for sure. But there is a great blessing in doing things the "old-fashioned" way.
  5. We actually do need the internet. Our family does online schooling. Going 17 days without internet was difficult because my kids became behind in their school work, We use the internet a lot for ministry at our church and for my blog ministry. So our family actually does need the internet. And cable is okay too. There is nothing wrong with using these outlets for entertainment as long as we do not let them distract us from God, we take breaks, and we spend face to face screen free time with those we love.
  6. We survived! I really think my kids were afraid they wouldn't survive this. About halfway through our 17 days, my husband acquired a tv antenna so that we could watch our favorite MLB team playing the postseason games. But with this antenna, we were limited to 1 tv as opposed to the 3 we normally have functioning. Oh the horror! We couldn't find the original tv remote. So to use the volume or to change the 5 channels we had, one of our kids would get up and go to the tv. They kept making comments about how this must have been life in the 1950s. {50s? Try even the 80s! wink wink} So yes, to know that we actually made it through 17 days with no cable and no internet, we are proud to say we survived.
When the cable man knocked on my door at 8:30 last night, my family may or may not have broke into the hallelujah chorus. We are definitely thrilled to have our services running again. But this break was really good for us.

I am not going to tell you to go out and cut your cable line or block your services for 17 days. I won't even tell you to do it for 2 days. But taking a break, whether for one entire evening a week or an entire week, is very healthy for all of us. Seriously consider taking a break for your family. I promise you will not regret it!



2 comments:

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  2. I'm enjoying your blog :) And, although I don't like to do it, it is VERY nice to have a break from the online world.

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