Next week, May 2-8, is National Screen-Free Week http://www.screenfree.org. The event, formerly known as TV-Free Week, was renamed to recognize that smaller screens are taking up larger amounts of our time. The goal of Screen-Free Week is not to create a feeling of deprivation, but to enjoy the world beyond the screen.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, sponsors of the event, hope that people will consider how they can spend time without making electronic entertainment the centerpiece of their lives.
Why should you turn off the screens in your life, even for a short time?
Most children spend more time in front of screens than other activities, which can lead to poor sleep patterns and attention span issues, as well as obesity. In addition, children are exposed to marketing that causes them to believe that buying things will make them happy.
If you have kids, they may think that there is nothing left to do if they can’t watch TV, play video games or engage in social media. Suggest playing board games, reading, singing, drawing, talking, thinking or daydreaming. Our kids don’t take the opportunity to sit and do nothing for a little while. Teaching them that they don’t have to fill every minute with mindless chatter is good for them. And for us.
Think you can’t put down your phone when you’re home because work emails are too important? If checking your phone interferes with time spent with your family, you might want to consider how effective a screen-free week would be for you, too.
Would you consider going screen-free? How would it feel to go without your favorite electronics for a week?