Ditch Your Device Week 2018!

Do you think you could go a day without using your phone? How about a week?

From April 30th to May 6th, 2018, San Mateo County Libraries challenge community members to limit their screen time and device usage through our celebration of Ditch Your Device Week!

I’m sure many of us would find it difficult to last even an hour without checking our phones. Indeed, we live in times where technology is very much embedded in our daily lives. Internet connectivity has become essential and these days one can connect from just about anywhere, on a myriad of electronic devices. There are many benefits of developing technology: the ability to communicate with family, friends, and even strangers at any time of the day, to order food to be delivered to your front door, and most convenient, to have all of life’s answers right at your fingertips!

Nonetheless, technology and “screen time,” as parents often refer to it, present challenges for youth and adults alike. In February I had the opportunity to hear writer Anya Kamenetz discuss her latest book, The Art of Screen Time. During her discussion Anya talked about her research on the topic, and also shared her own experience raising children in a digital world. Anya summarized her approach towards screen time as being similar to a healthy outlook on food: Enjoy screen time, enjoy screen time with others, and, not too much screen time! Though this message comes from a parenting perspective, I think it applies quite nicely for the rest of us as well. Check our book recommendations below for more reading on the topic!

Track Device-Free Activities and Win!

Enough about screen time, we’re ready to ditch our devices! To start, we invite participants of all ages to track their device-free activities in a Ditch Your Device Week log throughout the week. You can also pick up a log at one of our 12 library branches, as well as the Bookmobile! Turn in your log to the library the following week for a chance to win one of four, awesome raffle prizes: Deluxe art kit, Magformers magnetic block set, ukulele, or mini cruiser skateboard!

Need a little motivation? The San Mateo County Libraries have got your back! We’ve planned exciting, Ditch Your Device Week activities to help you fill out your logs. These special Ditch Your Device activities include building with cardboard, magnetic slime, DIY plant terrariums, a library scavenger hunt, and screen printing workshops (no pun intended). The library is always a great place to visit if you wish to unplug. We hope you’ll join us in ditching your devices April 30th to May 6th, 2018!

Book Recommendations

The Power of Off

Alone Together

You Are Not A Gadget

Terms of Service

The Cyber Effect

Mind Change

The End of Absence

Dot Complicated


Goodnight iPad

How will you be spending Ditch Your Device Week? Tell us your plans below.