A blog post about why you shouldn’t read this blog post

Posted: Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013


It’s the holiday season as far as I’m concerned. First, we had a joyous April Fools Day. Fake parking tickets still work after all these years. And now we’ve got Screen-Free Week starting on April 29.

These are alpacas. I learned about alpacas last night while enjoying screen-free human interaction.

What’s Screen-Free Week, you ask? It’s like Christmas. The differences are that it doesn’t cost you anything, the weather is nicer, and instead of giving people gifts, you give yourself the gifts of fresh air, rested eyes, and human interaction.

Originally called TV Turnoff Week in 1994, its creators probably never imagined how many normal Joes would walk around town carrying magical cell phones with Internet, video, music, games, and an app that saves a parking space for you. Yes, that exists.

Even so, the basic idea remains the same. Too much screen time isn’t good for you, and it’s especially bad for kids. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which runs the event, would remind you that preschoolers average 32 hours of screen media per week. But you knew that. You also knew that screen time can lead to irregular sleep patterns, body image issues, lack of creativity, early childhood aggression, academic failure, and weight problems.

We’re addicted to screens, some of us literally, despite the fact that more and more of us spend our 9-to-5′s in front of one. A week off is the least we could do for ourselves. It’s coming at a good time too, following a fit of sensational, tragic news in Massachusetts that brought us closer to screens than usual. My poor eyes have been burning the midnight oil!

So just do it. Turn off your screens. You’ll see fewer Nike ads. Enjoy life the way it used to be, because for your kids growing up in this screen-crazed era, there is no “way it used to be” anymore.

If a whole week with no screens is just not possible, or if you need your phone’s map feature to find the nearest park, fine. Nobody’s cracking a whip. But make the effort. This isn’t some wacky hippie treehugger conspiracy theorist event. It’s for normal people.

Let’s look at some of the normal things you can do:

Go fishing.
Take a walk.
Go to a play.
Look at a map.
Draw a picture.
Play with a pet.
Go to a concert.
Clean the house.
Go to a museum.
Go on a bike ride.
Play 20 questions.
Invite friends over.
Play a board game.
Donate old clothes.
Rearrange furniture.
Bury a time capsule.
Clean out the garage.
Go to a baseball game.
Cook an elaborate meal.
Create an obstacle course.
Make simple art with words.

2 Responses to “A blog post about why you shouldn’t read this blog post”

  1. Chelle Says:

    We pretty much do this every week with the exception of using laptops for homeschool use. I have a reward system setup for my 8 year old daughter that rewards her computer time on the weekends. If she does her chores and her behavior is on par then she earns a sticker for each day of the week. On the weekend she get’s two hours of computer time a day. We don’t have cable (Netflix and Hulu subscriptions) so it works great! This has made her up her reading level some more without even realizing it, and her drawings have become more complex.

  2. Mack Levine Says:

    Nice system. I sometimes wonder what I’m going to do about internet when I become a dad. When my future kids are in middle school it’s probably going to look something like this: “Want today’s wireless password? 1. Do your homework 2. Do the dishes 3. Fold your laundry”

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