Turn Off the TV Week

Tomorrow begins turn off the TV week.  It is promoted by the Center for Screen-Time Awareness.

I’m not a big fan of these types of weeks.  They are designed to make people aware of the need for better habits.  That makes sense.  Too often, people adopt good habits in the extreme for one week and then go back to their normal routine.

Having said that I’m not a fan of “weeks,” I do think we need to promote more awareness and better habits around screen time.  Many families already do.  Many families set limits of daily moderation.  In our family, it’s no TV at all for the kids on Monday-Thursday (unless the KU Jayhawks are playing); an hour or two on Fridays and Saturdays, and an hour on Sundays.  Sometimes our kids watch less due to activities other times more because of movie length.  But, those are our general rules.  And, I must confess, my wife is a better enforcer than I.

While many families are diligent about moderate use of screen time, many are not.  The stats you’ll find at the Center for Screen-Time Awareness are remarkable – and troubling.

But young people are not the only ones watching too much TV.  Adults are watching, too and it’s undermining our communities.  Robert Putnam found that watching commercial entertainment TV is the only leisure activity where doing more of it is associated with lower social capital.

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One Response to “Turn Off the TV Week”

  1. Brian Herman Says:

    Do you suppose there was a Center for cave-wall-time awareness? I can hear the cave-parents now… “Zog, u stop make cave picture. Go play rock.” 🙂
    I’m debating the merits of this idea… we too plan to participate and I guess we’ll see how it goes but like you John, we quickly had to make some exceptions. “We won’t watch TV… unless the Avs are on… And Daddy still has to be on the computer 18 hours a day, but everyone else has to cut back.”
    And I think we’re cheating anyway, because my trusty TiVo will grab Survivor and Deadliest Catch for us and we’ll catch up on them later!
    Is TV a modern necessity? No, but it does take the edge off the day in a way that a 2 hour game of Hi-Ho-Cherry-Oh can’t. 🙂
    On the up side I played baseball and rode bikes with my kids this weekend, so I don’t feel so bad about myself!

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