tvSmarter – Life in a TV Nation

1 Comment

Screen-Free Week – 2012 – April 30 to May 6

Screen-Free Week – April 30 to May 6

The 2012 Screen-Free week is coming up – April 30 to May 6

Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood now has free organizing kits available for anyone interested in organizing Screen-Free activities (or who are just curious). Click here to go to their download page and the pdf will be emailed to you.

Later on, the CCFC will have a list of Screen-Free Week activities around the country, and you will be able to see what is going on in your community.

I read through their organizing pdf “Screen-Free Organizers’ Kit” and was very impressed with what they have put together. Which includes:

– Inspiring quotes from previous Screen-Free weeks (including an excellent quote from President Obama).

– Reproducible Fact sheets to give out when organizing (and during) your Screen-Free Week activities. Includes a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Fact Sheet.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Living Outside the Box – Book Review

Kids playing by
Kids playing, a photo by on Flickr.

Barbara Brock surveyed over 500 Low-TV and No-TV families, and further interviewed a number of these families in person. The result is her interesting and excellent book “Living Outside the Box”. Why have these families given up TV ? What do they do with their time? Are they social outcasts? These are some of the questions Barbara Brock seeks to answer.

What I found most fascinating were the reasons given for living TV-Free. Basically these reasons could be put into four broad categories:

– Resentment and Frustration. Resentment at being raised with too much TV and/or frustration with their own families being too TV oriented.

– Technical Difficulties. TVs breaking down, or moving to an area with poor TV reception. And finding the resulting TV-Free existence to be liberating instead of boring.

– Outside Prompts. Inspirations such as TV-Turnoff Week, Waldorf Schools, and books about the negative effects of TV.

– Raised Without TV. The stereotype is that children raised without TV will become total TV addicts when given the opportunity. As it turns out, growing up without TV was also a major reason for living TV-Free as adults.

And what I liked best about this book was that in addition to facts and figures, Outside the Box is also filled with stories from the interviews and feedback. My favorite story was about Jenny, a mom who would labor over a family dinner and then have to tear her kids and husband away from their separate TVs for a family get-together dinner. Finally, out of frustration, she took the garden shears and literally cut the TV cable. Her youngest son started to cry, her two daughters quickly took off to a friend’s TV-filled house, and her husband just stared in amazement. Now, years later, and still TV free, family dinners have become unhurried and filled with conversation, the kids have found lots to do, and even her husband has discovered that “at least now I know as much about my own kids as I used to know about The Simpsons”.

See also:

30 days live pdf
Found at

Leave a comment

Screen Free Logo – Vote

Logo Vote and an important announcement

The excellent organization Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood is now the home of Turn-off week:

Until recently, Screen-Free Week was housed at the Center for Screen-Time Awareness.  Unfortunately, the economic downturn forced CSTA to shutter its doors.  We are honored that CSTA’s Board unanimously chose CCFC to continue the crucial work of helping families discover alternatives to screen time.

In preparation for the 2011 turn-off week, CCFC has setup a new page: and is sponsoring a logo competition. There are 8 logos to choose from, and here are a couple of my favorites:

Screen-Free Week

Whichever logo gets the most votes, wins the competition.

Click here to vote!

Screen-Free Week


Cold, Dead Hands

"from my cold, dead hands."

"from my cold, dead hands."

No one is arguing that TVs should be banned, but for too many people giving up the remote (even for one week) could only happen if it was dragged from their “cold, dead hands“.

Here’s a sad story:

How much do white Americans think it costs to be black in our society, given the problems associated with racial bias and prejudice?

The answer, it appears, is not much.

When white Americans were asked to imagine how much they would have to be paid to live the rest of their lives as a black person, most requested relatively low amounts, generally less than $10,000.

In contrast, study participants said they would have to be paid about $1 million to give up television for the rest of their lives.

P.S. Thanks to my hubby for the great photoshopping job!

Leave a comment

Sept 09 Turn-off Week

Sept 2009 Turnoff Week

Coming right up is this year’s September Turn-off week: Sept 20 – 26


If you would like to make a donation to support this worthy endeavor (or order a kit) please write a check to:

    Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness
and sent to: PO Box 312
South Salem, NY 10590

Here are a couple of blog post on this upcoming turn-off week:

“Turnoff Week – September 2009” – Unplug Your Kids


“Turn Off Your TV and Turn On Your Imagination” – Green Parent Chicago


Also, Screentime is helping to get the word out on the CDC’s new program “Act Early“. 

For extra inspiration see: Turn-off Tips


Leave a comment

Post Turn-off Week – May 2009

Originally uploaded by annulla

Every year when Turn-off Week rolls around, my pageviews go way up. This year especially, the pageviews were double and even triple what they normally are. And since most of my pageviews are the result of internet searches, I think this is evidence that Turn-off Week does indeed succeed at increasing awareness of the harmful effects of too much TV (and other screentime).

Congratulation to Screentime and all the participants for another great Turn-off Week !

Congratulation also to Sarah of Unplug-Your Kids for her excellent Turn-off Week Blog Challenge.

Sarah recaps here (with quotes and links to plenty of very entertaining stories):

Regarding Sarah’s turn-off week, she made this encouraging observation:

ENCOURAGING NOTE:  One thing I have observed with my children which might be encouraging to other parents, is that once they get over the first hump of reading fluency, they seem to have much less interest in videos and spend a great deal of their non-play time reading.

This was certainly true with my 8 year-old daughter when she became comfortable with independent reading, but she was never a huge video watcher to begin with.

It was far more remarkable with my 6 year-old son.  He was always the one who would have been Mr. TV had I allowed it.  In the past few months he has suddenly taken off with his reading and is rarely found without a chapter book in his hand.  He honestly seems to have forgotten that the TV ever existed.  My husband and I are absolutely astonished!

Continue reading