The word detox, do you all remember when it was associated with the latest cleansing fad? Now the word is more often associated with stepping away from technology – digital detox. I often wonder how difficult it is to step away from technology? Our phones are our alarm clocks, our calendars, our calorie trackers, our way of communication. Even my husband and I often wonder how school administrators completed tasks for their jobs pre-cell phones.

At the start of every digital citizenship unit, I share this with my students, “According to The Journal of American Medical Association of Pediatrics non-school related technology use doubled to 7.7 hours a day of screen time during the pandemic. Pre-pandemic screen time was 3.8 hours a day.” When reflecting upon this, most students agree, but they do not want to be the person who spends that much time on their devices.

I admit it, I visit multiple social media sites daily. I mindlessly scroll through sites and get sucked into the rabbit holes of information. We absolutely battle the screen time usage around our home; even though we have multiple educational discussions with our children about the importance of healthy screen time balance. We discuss how social media can be positive, yet there can also be much negativity surrounding it.

Which leads me to a question I ponder often, where or how do we find the balance?

Last week a dear friend texted me to let me know she deactivated her social media account. She continued that she did not need the noise in her life and it has allowed her to be fully present in the moment. Wow, that was a huge light bulb. If my friend could leave social media, I could hit the pause button. Actually, I did it. I hit the pause button on my personal accounts and put a time limit on my professional accounts. However, most importantly, I hope to encourage my children to delete one social media app for a time period.

A social media detox is going to shock my system. However, I am looking forward to allowing myself to be bored (to be really bored), to take out a piece of paper, to create or to pick up yoga. This time is going to allow me to be more present, allow me to reconnect with my surroundings. This type of detox, I hope, will be a time of being mindful.

Who knows maybe this detox will be life-changing, maybe not. At the minimum, I know I am creating more sensible boundaries on how I spend my time online and truly making personal connections.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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