Here is a daily summary of our family’s screen time, as it stands now, during the COVID-19 lockdown.
ANNABEL & CAMERON: ~3 hrs of tablet/Minecraft time while G takes a nap (it begins at 1p and ends by 4p). ~1-2 hours of movie at night. Sometimes Minecraft at night instead if Josh wants to do it with them.
Annabel also has Facebook Messenger for kids and talks to several of her classmates often while playing Minecraft. During device time, she has access to both a Lenovo tablet AND a mostly working old iPhone only connected to WiFi (but really, what else do you need when you’re only at home!?).
(This does not include time spent in front of screens doing schoolwork, so yep – there’s even more during the work week.)
GENEVIEVE: 2014-SHU would probably be horrified, but G watches 2-3 hours/day. Usually 1-2 shows in the morning, maybe 1 as I’m prepping dinner, and she will sit down and watch a movie with the big kids at night (and it doesn’t matter what it is; she’ll either watch it OR bring a toy near the TV and play with it so she feels like part of the group if she’s not into it).
JOSH: Well, I don’t really keep tabs on his screen use per se, but he often plays Minecraft WITH our kids if he is home while they are doing it. Plus maybe a show or movie at night with me. I do see him reading headlines on his computer but he is admirably resistant to the lure of his phone as distraction device.
ME: Looking at my data from last week, I have logged 116 – 303 minutes/day on my iPhone’s screen time app (when the totals are high note that this total does include telemedicine calls). That doesn’t include time spent on this laptop. When it comes to “leisure” categories, last week I spent an average of 36 min/day on Instagram, 35 min/day on Safari, 39 min/day on text messages, and 14 min/day on Feedly. That adds up to ~2 hours which I find kind of disgusting.
The problem I am having is that there just isn’t that much OTHER stimulation that is so readily available right now. I know Laura has written about this before, but it’s especially difficult to become engaged in meaningful activities when one is performing intermittent childcare duties. The kids no longer require my presence hovering over them every second (G is a GOOD toddler in that respect, although sometimes letting her be independent leads to messes!). BUT, they do need something from me quite often.
I think a certain amount of this “extra” screen time is therapeutic right now. There’s so much uncertainty that it’s comforting to “see” what others are doing (though remember: what you see on social media is only a smallllllll and highly curated slice). It’s also just fun (and happily distracting) to look at total eye candy (for me: my @shubox_plans feed, which follows 80% planning and organizing accounts).
I don’t know. I’m not terribly worried about the increased screen time for the kids. I’m also not going off the deep end about my own “wasted” time either, but 2 hours/day seems like a lot. I will continue to track and see if I can redirect myself a few times today. If nothing else, my new organization obsession may suck up some of those minutes . . .
PLANS FOR DAY:
- Last “A Little Obsessed” Workout – Legs (next week –> 21 Day Fix Extreme)
- Neighborhood walk / scooter / chalk / etc
- Sneak in a podcast ad recording during G’s nap
- CLEAN BATHROOMS, ugh, but needs to happen (yep, we usually outsource this but not right now! We sent 6 weeks’ worth of $$$ by mail and are hoping that by the summer it might be safe for her to come back.)
- Dinner: easy lo mein, recipe submitted by reader Shelly on Friday’s post!
Josh says life right now feels like the movie Groundhog Day. He’s not wrong. Maybe if he is seeking more variety I can get HIM to do the bathrooms . . . .
Will G’s generation grow up with a fine appreciation for the little things? One can hope . . .