Matt recently got an offer for a 3 month subscription to the Wall Street Journal for some ridiculously cheap price, and I have totally become addicted to reading the paper in the morning, especially with all this election coverage. In fact, paper reading time usually spills into the late morning and I set up shop in one of the girls' room while all three kids play together. The lack of time on my phone and the computer always, always translates to better parenting and better behaved kids. Yet every time, I'm always shocked, "I should do this more often - it was so much easier to keep my temper today!"
I think the secret is that these types of reading/browsing/gaming are loathe to be interrupted. It's easy to yank the screen out of the reach of little hands and and promise to put it down after you finish this one thing. Then I get all frustrated because I just want one freaking second to myself, when the truth is that I've already had 20 minutes. A newspaper, on the other hand, is easily swatted away by little hands. Poof - attention broken. Focus on the kids, pick the paper back up. Plus newspapers are way more boring for kids than the Internet.
There is a sentiment that one must be careful who her friends are. The influences we have around us shape who we are. Well, today, in the age when digital things have replaced actual beings, I think it is easy to make the jump that we must be careful what our "frequently visited websites" are. I should evaluate what sites are in my history list and see if that's really who I want to become.