No, not the kind of detox where you throw a bunch of shit in a blender and pray to all that is holy that you lose 30 pounds by next Tuesday. I’m talking about an internet detox. You see, our internet and cable was cut off for three days this week. During those 3 days, I learned quite a bit about our family dependency on “screen attraction,” (as my daughter calls it) and I learned how to strike a better balance in life because of it.
Fall has certainly arrived in our part of Texas. The mornings leave a crisp, cool air and the afternoons result in all of us questioning our sanity as we fan off the beads of sweat on the backs of our necks. It has been nice to slow down. With the rise of the sun, A and I would walk down to the bus stop full of chatter. It was nice to have more of that in the afternoons when she was home from school and I fully intend to keep the television off until 5PM every day so that she has an hour to breathe in quiet solitude before her homework and television programming that evening.
The first day was hard for our whole family. I’m not going to lie. It’s habit for R and A when they walk in the door to turn on the television and sit down, or to go straight to the computer without so much of a hello before they enter the world of Warcraft or Minecraft or whatever strikes their interest. I am just as guilty in a different way because when I feel over whelmed, I lock myself in my bedroom and watch 363469346346346 YouTube videos until I start to “feel better.” It’s ridiculous.
I think the biggest thing I learned was something that my sister pointed out to me on Saturday. “It’s all fake, the online world,” she said to me in a rant about how millennials can’t seem to hold a proper conversation. She is on the cusp of being a millennial herself, but she has always been very studious and has never really “plugged in,” online. That statement, for whatever reason hit me hard.
The internet can be very fake. What got me this week was the total fucking time suck being online can cause. Like, not only are we all online trying to show off the best that we can be, we also hide behind the keys of our message boards or facebook posts to be as crass and opinionated as possible. It’s fucking exhausting to scroll through a facebook feed and see how furious everyone is about politics or their jobs or what the fuck is going on today. Like, DAMN! We need to slow down.
And fucking breathe. So, I would post my daughter’s red ribbon outfit of the week and sorta leave it at that. Maybe a small comment or like here or there but I could feel the waves of tension leaving my body as I just stepped away. It was really simple for me. I was forced into it because of the unpaid bill, sure, but instead of whining about how awful it was, I embraced the detox.
It was nice to hold an actual conversation with my family. It was calming to curl up on the couch and read a book while the sunlight streamed in through the windows and warmed my little house.
I was very proud of my little angel when she walked in and got straight to work on her homework. Something that has never happened before! She truly enjoyed taking the time to slow down enough to do her work. And, she totally aced all her stuff this week. Double win!
Currently, we got the cable turned back on thanks to a very dear friend. (I’ll leave it at that, but she and I are working on a special surprise for the blog!) My daughter has actually completed almost all of her homework for the week and is on the floor coloring quietly while re-watching Earth to Echo for the billionth time. It’s a movie she never get’s sick of and I enjoy it much more than say… my little pony? Anyone else with me on this?
I’m going to go put some food on the stove and hop in the shower before R walks in. He started his job on Monday and loves it! I feel like all in all, things are looking up. As soon as I start to feel overwhelmed again, I know how to pull the plug!
Remember to be kind to yourself and if you or someone close to you is in serious distress or simply needs to talk to someone, please call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.