Often, I hear concerns about the number of hours students are in front of a screen or ‘plugged’ in. I have those same concerns. Also, I have concerns about the number of hours staff are ‘plugged’ in and more specifically, how much time I am ‘plugged’ in. I am all for being a connected educator, but recently I decided to informally track how often I was ‘plugged’ in during a typical week. I tracked how much time I spent in front of a laptop screen during the school day and evening. The amount of time I was on social media. The number of times I checked my iPhone. After looking at my informal and alarming numbers I have realized I am not ‘plugged’ in, but I am tied to digital technology/social media/connected educators. This tie does not feel like a save support, but an unhealthy ‘ball and chain’. I do not feel being ‘plugged’ in is a stress factor for me, for those of you that know me I am pretty laid back. That being said, being constantly ‘plugged’ in is not healthy, physically or mentally.
Therefore, I have decide to detox or get ‘unplugged’ for the next week. I have a terrific opportunity as the teaching staff has a bit of a break next week. So starting at the Friday bell I will be ‘unplugged’ and not using my laptop, not constantly checking emails, not engaging in social media, not checking the NHL app to see how Chicago is playing, no Netflix, no YouTube, no Instagram, etc.
Now I am a realist. I will still have the iPhone on simply in case someone has to contact me for an emergency. I will have to go online to approve time sheets or else some staff will not get paid. I may not be 100% ‘unplugged’, but I am aiming for 98%. I will enjoy my ‘unplugged’ time with family and friends.
PS – I plan on ‘unplugging’ on a regular basis, hopefully daily.
good luck with the plan, Greg! Let me know if you suffer withdrawal symptoms, for I can tell you a number of my teachers would certainly find this an uncomfortable challenge!
Thanks Val, I am sure I will be suffering some withdrawal.