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Turn-Off Week 2009

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Turn-off Week is coming soon: April 20-26, 2009

  

Every year Turn-off week is organized by the great people at Screentime.org

 

Screentime has organized numerous activities, and has developed kits to encourage participation:

 

Barnes & Noble Events (thanks Barnes & Noble !)

 

 

Organizers’ Kits

 

 

Screentime Forum (for more organizing news)

 

 

Great story about a past turn-off week Game Nights at an Illinois school

 

 

The great thing about going away on a Vacation is that it takes you away from the usual distractions and routines. Consider this week a vacation from the usual TV/internet/video games.

 

If you already watch little or no TV, then try giving up the internet for a week (that’s what I plan to do). Or if your habit is TV (and who doesn’t love TV) then get out your music CDs and buy or borrow some trashy novels and enjoy your week away from the regular routine.

 

For those with people with kids, this turn-off week could be a great opportunity to re-connect with your family (through games or walks), or your community (through a community game night). For more ideas, see Instead of TV.

 

Thanks to Screentime.org for fighting the good fight, and for coming up with this all around brilliant idea!

 

If you go to the websites for Sesame Street Workshop or PBS, the list of their corporate sponsorship is vast and extensive. As you can imagine, on the other hand, Screentime.org is not popular with the large corporations, so (if you are able) please donate today.  

OMG, could it be that Nickelodeon also supports Turn-off ? According to this March 25, 2009 AP article:

 

Nickelodeon will ask kids to unplug their games and gadgets for a minute on Earth Day to symbolize a commitment to helping the environment.

 

The unplugged minute will come at nine o’clock in the evening on April 22, when many of Nick’s viewers should arguably be in bed. It doesn’t extend to television sets.

 

Nickelodeon has in the past urged its fans to turn off the TV and go out and play for three hours one day each year, and will likely do so again.

 

Nickelodeon is also honoring actor Leonardo DiCaprio with its first-ever “Big Green Help Award” this Saturday on its annual Kids’ Choice Awards.

 

I guess the 3 hours per year of TV turn-off was just too extreme. This year, Nickelodeon is now scaling it back to one minute of gadget only turn-off.

 

Maybe if the one minute thing is just too much, next year they can encourage their audience to briefly turn their head away, and look out the window.

 

This would be really funny, if it weren’t so very sad.

5 thoughts on “Turn-Off Week 2009

  1. Thank you for the reminder!!!

    Your site always helps. I was just following some articles on possible connections with Autism and television viewing. So many reasons to pull back on the box…

    Chris

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  2. Hi Chris

    “Thank you for the reminder!!!”

    Yay! Last year I was remiss, and didn’t
    write about Turn-off week until *after* it
    was over. So trying to do better this year.

    “I was just following some articles on possible
    connections with Autism and television viewing.”

    I’ve been reading about the TV/autism connection
    too, and I’ve been meaning to write about it.
    I *do not* believe that watching TV makes someone
    more likely to develop autism, but I do think
    that there is a more subtle and round-about link.

    “So many reasons to pull back on the box…”

    Considering the huge amount of time that people
    spend staring at the tube, it no wonder that the
    effects are so wide-reaching.

    I haven’t seen much in the news about the turn-off
    week *yet*. But I’m hopeful that the week before it
    starts that there is a lot of positive coverage,
    and of course tons of participation.

    Terry

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  3. Some additional creative thinking about ditching the box…

    The 8 Step Program to Television Freedom.

    If Television sort of has an unusual hook in our brains, then perhaps we should treat our cerebral/biological fixation upon it with an elemental plan, that includes creative incremental change in personal emotional, intellectual and physiological context. In other words, if we treat television like a neural drug, then we can remove the fear, and discomfort of thinking about having to go “Cold Turkey.” Which we all mostly know, clean harsh breaks with stuff we are addicted to, whether consciously, or subconsciously does not always work. And for some people, like myself, I sincerely cannot totally walk away from Television, as it is an integral part of my work, but as you know, I do treat it very differently and with a great degree of respect for its potential, and most certainly know its boundaries.

    Plus, if we label it an 8 step program, maybe it will not sound too overwhelming, or intimidating. Though, when I took a few moments and wrote down some ideas, before I knew it I had to stop myself at 25 steps… (that was definitely fun just making the list…).

    So here is my proposition, and I know that you have started a wonderful section on things to do instead of watching television, but maybe I am looking at a way of encapsulating ideas, and putting them out in a different context, that may be more easily assimilated with an already preexisting social awareness…

    I will work on, and list some steps that work for me, and if you and others can add to this list, then we can meld them into a “Television Freedom Act.” Then we are on the way to building a positive collaborative inducement to helping people put down the remote one step at a time…

    By the way, it is your stimulating thinking on this site that has got me brain storming about this, and I thank you for that sincerely. And after all, the more we brain storm, the better, and more conscious we make our world, one step at a time…

    And even if we do not get this put together before the “Turn Off Your TV Week,” we have it started, and it can be used all the time…

    Happy brain storming! (one of my favorite activities).

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  4. Hi Chris

    “Television Freedom Act” and the “8 Step Program”,
    those are great ideas! Thank you so much!

    I had wanted to respond earlier, but just about
    all week our internet has been either down, or up
    just intermittently. Kind of a forced turn-off
    week for me…

    “So here is my proposition, and I know that you
    have started a wonderful section on things to do
    instead of watching television, but maybe I am
    looking at a way of encapsulating ideas, and
    putting them out in a different context, that
    may be more easily assimilated with an already
    preexisting social awareness…”

    “I will work on, and list some steps that work
    for me, and if you and others can add to this
    list, then we can meld them into a
    “Television Freedom Act.” Then we are on the
    way to building a positive collaborative
    inducement to helping people put down the
    remote one step at a time…”

    With your permission, I would love to make this
    into a post and page when we are done. I think that
    this would be very inspirational to encourage people
    to participate in Turnoff week. And even more importantly
    to gradually unhook themselves from the powerful
    “neural drug” that is TV.

    And “neural drug” really is a perfect description.

    OK, here are a few things that I found
    helpful when starting to reduce TV:

    – gradual approach, “cold turkey” would not
    have worked for me.

    – Substitution: radio instead of TV for
    background noise. Specifically http://www.rhapsody.com
    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ and http://www.airamerica.com

    – Substitution: newspaper and internet instead
    of TV for news and info.

    – Substitution: novels instead of TV for
    entertainment.

    Looking forward to your ideas!

    Terry

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  5. So many good alternatives to watching television and yet I didn’t see anything on TV regarding TV Turn-Off week. There’s a non sequitur !

    Really need to tip my hat to my better half. Couldn’t give up TV because she doesn’t watch so no internet for 7 days to join the cause for rebellion against the machines. Went on only for to keep really fine and comprehensive website running so I suspect internet OT this week.

    Great post earlier on daydreams. Seems like a pretty huge price to pay for being entertained.

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