Are We Really “Off” on a Snow Day☃️…Weekend😎…Vacation🌴?

Does a true day “off” necessitate no phone use? How about if I don’t use social media but still text throughout the day? Am I resting? Having fun? Keeping my body healthy? I asked myself these questions and if I’m being honest, a true day off for me would mean no phone and no computer. Both keep my head down, body sedentary and don’t permit real conversation. I like keeping my head up, prefer to be active and love good conversation.

The reality is, we work on computers and even if we don’t use social media, phones connect us to our loved ones and are useful in emergencies. They are also dang handy for taking notes and making lists.

We all know how phones decrease our attention span, provide a false sense of accomplishment after scrolling (similar to having completed an actual task), and that screens are literally engineered to keep us looking. Yet, we have trouble putting them down.

With 23 states engulfed in brutal cold this week, it led to countless school and company closings. What I observed in my frozen little corner of the universe were several people granted a “day off” by their employer (not a “work from home” day) but still received texts about nonsense that really could have waited until we were plowed out. We’re not talking about organ transplant surgery or even a customer really needing assistance. We’re talking about useless, unproductive texting that forced more than one person to be on their phones all day. Without cell phones, employers wouldn’t feel as comfortable calling via a land line 12 times in five hours.

I knew of a few children who spent three straight days gaming and teens who remained couch bound, attached to their social media. No board games, books, conversation nor baking cookies. Instead, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter and so on fully consumed their days “off”.

“And it turns out that Americans check their work emails just as often as they do social media even while on vacation. The average American will check their work emails, Facebook, and Instagram nine times a day as they soak up the sun.” Source.

Research has proven social isolation, addiction, decreased attention span/inability to focus, and increased sadness are associated with media use. But, it’s not only the social media and constant distraction that hurts us. (And by “us” I mean adults, not only kids and teenagers.)

General cell phone use has been researched and subsequently led scientists to report, “adverse health effects of using mobile phones including changes in brain activity, reaction times, and sleep patterns”. (Source) Could it be related to the “minimal amount” of radiofrequency radiation emitting from our devices? For every claim that they cause no or little physical harm, there is another story claiming they do.

Snow days, vacation and days off work used to be openings for creating life memories-not watching what everyone else was doing. They tended to promote “healthier” days. If we allow it, electronics rob us of those much-needed breaks and real joys.

I’m going to periodically use my phone on days off, but I’m not attached. I crave tech-free time. I’m going to make a concerted effort to have snow days that are phone-free fun – like they were when the kids were little. I have plenty of my own ideas, but if you need some, (HGTV has a list of “Adult Snow Days” ideas.)

Having been drawn into studying this topic a bit this week, I’m going into this weekend only using my phone for communication with the kids. This way, I believe it will truly be time “off”!

But first, I need to close this lap top…

Happy Weekend to all!!



8 thoughts on “Are We Really “Off” on a Snow Day☃️…Weekend😎…Vacation🌴?

  1. I had to work from home during the storm. I am in the tech field. But I do agree that disconnecting is important. I use to check email while on vacation. But no more. If there is an emergency they can call. Time off is too precious! Thanks for the follow. Am following back.

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  2. agree, hence my often MIA from social media, even my phone. Truth be told…the honest reason is because I’ve lost interest. I’ll still save recipes for my kids (in their 40’s), like we’ve always done…since they were called “rules”, lol, except it’s now online. This is our time of year to be busy, the summer is when we might get days off, from excessive heat.
    It’s nice reading your posts/blog. I’ll catch up more another time; I’m going out back to pick lemons and grapefruit, then throw them in the freezer. I can’t let them go; not after experiencing how nice it is to always have lemon juice right in my freezer. Funny how they still smell like when you first pick them. That was a pleasant surprise.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing ♡ with gratitude

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  3. I agree. Life before cell phones and social media was easier and less encumbered. People spent more time with others, face-to-face. Our children and youth knew what life in nature felt like and playing with friends and meant. It was a time when young people could go outside, to the theater, and mall without fear. In some respects it was easier, life was people oriented.

    You’re right, adults were also freer, not bound by social media and cell phones. Snow days and vacations were one in the same. Now we have to forcibly disconnect which is not easy, only by the grace of God can we break these bonds.

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