This week, the Center for a Commercial Free Childhood’s Screen-Free Week began. From April 29th to May 5th, the organization asks people and families to unplug all TV’s smartphones, and computers for a week. All screens used for entertainment are turned off, then people turn on the world around them. They encourage you to think, read, play, daydream, explore nature, enjoy family and friends, and other things without using a screen. Some people are participating in this event all week-long. But I will not! I believe something like this is a waste of time because we all have to rely on screens.
Maybe it’s not a TV screen, but a computer screen to keep tabs on your family and to receive breaking news and weather information. Maybe its your smartphone to keep up to date with your social media accounts. Or its a TV where you can keep tabs of news or weather. In the world we live in today, it’s impossible to live without any screens 24/7. I know some parents are going to be shocked when they learn that some school systems have gone to all computers. The Piedmont City School System has replaced all textbooks with computers. Each student receives a Mac Book for school and they have internet access to do school work. So if you take part in a no screen week, are you forcing your child to not learn?
Some people and parents thinks all TV’s, computers, and smartphones are brain-rotting devices that wastes people’s time. But you have to realize, without technology like computers, many kids would not be learning! People don’t spend all of their time on the computer playing games. Some people does research, some people write (like me), some people learn, some people read, some people edit pictures and videos, some people use programs to be artists, some people uses Skype to interact with people around the world. Yes, everyone is going to play a game and have some fun on a computer. Using a computer or any screen is not mindless and a waste for your brain.
These days, some people have deemed every new medium that allows new ways to communicate as the devil’s tool. What we need to do is to promote “smart screen” time. New media like computers and the internet helps grow, and expand a person’s mind, young or old. Stating that the problem is with screens is short-sighted and small-minded. If people thinks all screens are evil, why not take part in a no book week, or a no pencil week, or a no school week? Simply saying all screens are bad is wrong!
The various screen devices in our lives are tools, and we come to them for fulfillment of unique needs, interests and gratifications. People uses screens for learning, communication, community, information, creation, exploration, challenge, and yes, some entertainment as well. Yes, people do need to take a break from being in front of a screen. Families need to limit their screen time for their kids every day. Kids need to be outside and explore as well. But saying all screens are bad is sending the wrong statement.
As for me, I don’t spend all day long in front of a computer. I do get away to do some things. We all need to get away from a screen at times throughout each day. I am just saying banning all screens is pretty much impractical in today’s society. Looking for a more practical way to take part in a no screen week. Visit KaBOOM’s website where you take 60 minutes a day away from a screen at: http://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/8608/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=6978
Learn more about screen free week at: http://www.screenfree.org
- NC encourages participation in Screen-Free Week (newsobserver.com)
- I Failed Screen Free Week at Breakfast (nerdymomgeek.wordpress.com)
- Too Much Tech: The Effects of Tech Culture on Families (and Screen Free Week!) (non-toxickids.net)