Technology-free Sundays

I spend. . . a lot of time at the computer.

Between my own blog, writing for both Disney Baby and Spoonful, contributing at Modern Parents, Messy Kids, and GoodLife Eats, plus my general love of Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and aimless surfing of the web (and an iPhone and iPad to make sure I’m never too far away from my beloved internet connection), I could easily spend my entire life online.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Naomi posted over at Rockstar Diaries about how they’d started unplugging on Sundays.

The next Saturday evening, just as we were getting ready to go to bed, I mentioned the idea to Bart and told him I was going to try it out and see what I thought.

The long and short of it is that I LOVED it.

I do check my email a couple of times during the day (but I really do mean a couple – not every five minutes), just in case something important comes in. I still use my phone or iPad to pull up a recipe if I’m cooking something from a blog. I’ll respond to text messages.

But I don’t look at Pinterest. I don’t check Instagram. I don’t read any blogs or browse websites. I don’t turn on the computer.

When we get home from church, I spend some time cooking or playing with the girls. While they nap, Bart and I can spend time together without either of us having our phones in hand.

In the evenings, we have people over for dinner or play games or read. We plan for the week ahead and go to bed at a reasonable time because we haven’t suddenly wasted two hours on the computer.

And when Monday morning rolls around, I feel like I had a real weekend and that I’m ready to start the week again freshly.

Has anyone else tried this? I pretty much think it’s the best thing ever.

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  1. We have been doing this for about the past 1 1/2 to 2 years. It is especially good for my now 8 year old who already prefers going on the iPad to watching TV. It was hard for her at first but once she saw that we are committed (and doing it too) she doesn't even ask to go on anything (iPad or computer) on Sunday. I highly encourage other families to try it as well.

  2. I think this is a great idea! I am a volunteer coordinator at church, so I would need to unplug after that, but I love it!

  3. I love this idea! I've really been aware of just how much time we spend in front of a screen and "unplugged Sunday" sounds like a great way to add some balance. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I think it's a great idea. We get so distracted by technology that we don't spend real quality time with the people around us.
    By the way, I've just read two books of the books you have recommended as your favorite books of 2012 and I think I just have to read everything you think is good because I loved both books 🙂

  5. Been doing this (or trying to) for a while now. I think it helps me focus on what I want to on Sundays and not the things of the world. I want to get better at it and kick Instagram out too but it's hard!

  6. Sundays are our free day. We don't do homework (we're both in school), we don't get on the computer and we try and avoid using our phones. It's pretty great. Okay, so we do watch Mormon Messages with the kids, counts as FHE right??? And we do watch This Old House after they're in bed bc we'd like to think we're handy and capable and really we just like to watch… it's awesome.

  7. Wow – I didn't realize just how many places you wrote for until it was all laid out. Good for you!

    I generally stay off of the computers on weekends. It's not anything official, but I've been doing it for a while. I think it started with me working on a computer all day and then getting on my laptop at home at night during the week. Like you, I'll use my phone to check my email a couple of times a day, but that's about it.

  8. I really love that idea. I might have to try instituting a modified form of that, simply because sometimes I have things that can't wait until Monday to be done.

  9. J-Mo and I unplugged completely for 24 hours a few weekends ago. We picked Saturday instead of Sunday, which I think was a mistake. But I was surprised at how little I missed my phone/computer. (We were completely technology dark, no using GPS, no looking something up on Google, no responding to email or text, or even READING email or text. It was all very….strange. Mostly in a good way.)


  10. I love the success you're having writing in so many places!

    What a good idea. I try to wind down on Sundays, but I don't step away from my electronics nearly enough – and I've been slowly winding down my online presence to a much more manageable degree! I can't wait to test this out…after I finish my other work and projects first 😉

  11. We recently started this, too, and I love it. It especially helps with going to bed at a better hour. And it's shocking how much better the first few hours of the morning go when I went to be at an earlier hour. We're not prefect at staying away from our phones, but staying off the computer/laptop has been change enough for now.

  12. Fantastic idea! I am actually pretty good at remaining unplugged on Sundays. I have church which feels like all day, but it's not, I just socialize in the hall afterwards and before you know it, it's 2pm! Then a group of us sometimes go out to eat. Then I'm with my parents or friends or neighbor and then it's dinner and before you know it, bed time.

    However, I do spend too much time online and know that cutting back is a great idea. One thing I work hard to do is keep the laptop out of the bedroom. I could mindlessly search for hours and then I can't wind down enough for bed. Having great books to look forward to reading has helped.

    I'm so glad this works for your family! I think everyone needs to unplug a bit, it's good for you.

  13. i started doing this about a year ago as a means of fasting while i was pregnant, and then on into nursing. since i couldn't refrain from food to draw my thoughts to what i was fasting for, it seemed like a good substitute (especially because i have the impulse to check my email, words with friends, instagram, etc. so often. probably more often than the impulse to eat, sadly enough). i enjoyed it so much on fast sunday though, that i've started doing it every sunday. it's been a good practice.

    now if only i could rein it in during the week as well…

  14. We did this last Saturday for "National Unplug Day" which I heard about on NPR the day before. I responded to one text (a friend who wanted me to watch her baby so she could help her husband move — uh, of course!), but other than that, stayed completely away from the Internet and my phone. It was glorious. I read more in those 24 hours than I had in the previous 3 months, plus I felt a lot more present for my boys. It shocked me how often I found myself reaching for my phone for no reason at all. It's compulsive! We definitely want to make it a regular thing.

  15. I've been doing social media-free weekends since the beginning of the year, and I love it too. In January I had to delete my facebook and Twitter apps from my phone to be successful each weekend, but now it's not even a temptation.

  16. I've been wanting to do something like this for awhile now! I think this post was the kick-in-the-booty that I needed :o)
    Oh, and btw I've been wanting to tell you that I really enjoyed your Disney Baby post on the extra benefit of breastfeeding. Whenever we get together with the in-laws I need that little escape. Not only do I get time to recharge, but I get my baby back in my arms which feels soooo good.

  17. I've been doing this on fast Sundays. It's easier for me to remember and I like what it adds to the day. I should definitely consider doing every Sunday though. It's a nice break.

  18. When we lived in New Zealand I did lots of Internet-free weekends, and it was really good for me. I need to start instituting it again.

  19. We just did "Screen Free February" NO TV, ipads, phones for the whole month (except Friday nights and Saturdays- Im not a monster!) 😉 My husband I cheated after the kids were in bed, but I think that was our reward!
    My kids played sooo much more and were sooooo creative. I loved it. We have gradually added tv back in here and there, but there is such a shift in what is important and "needed".

    I was visiting friends in my home town over the holidays and they each had their phones in their hands the whole time, often typing while we were talking, it drove me crazy!! Moderation in all things, right?!?

    Glad this is working for ya, you're incredibly BUSY (and talented!!), you need a break too!

  20. So great, and glad you are promoting it! I don't always go completely computer free on Sundays, though I would like to do better. Usually I might watch a show, but that's about it. In general I am quite passionate about limiting the amount of time spent using technology (even though I know I still waste a lot of time on the computer during nap time and at night), but I can't stand it when people have their face in their phone all the time! It often feels like the uninvited and distracting guest.

  21. I loved Naomi's post, too, and want to unplug on Sundays. I use the computer as a crutch when I could be doing many more productive things, and I find that I waste A LOT of time online. Time for me to reevaluate, too.

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