Monday, April 23, 2007

Kill Your Television: National TV Turnoff Week

Earlier today Parent Hacks reminded me of a significant geek family event, TV Turnoff Week. Jim and I both added comments about Turnoff Week's influence on our family long before we even had kids.

We discovered TV Turnoff Week through Canadian media activists, but the event and its ideology aren't limited to the anti-commercial set. It's advocated by children's fitness organizations, both major American political parties, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, outdoor appreciation groups, environmental groups, children's organizations, and numerous educator groups.

You don't have to try it, but you might just have some fun if you do.

Wikipedia article on TV Turnoff and links to other sources.


Creative Genius? said...

Now all our household needs is a "turn off the computer" week and we'll be good to go!

adrienne said...

Back when I taught a family history class that focused on the influence of technology, we read this statistic in David Shenk's "Data Smog" about how he'd informally surveyed people about whether, given the choice, they would prefer the lifelong loss of computer to the lifelong loss of a finger. One third of people would give up their finger, according to Shenk.

In the college students I presented the question to, it came out more like one half. Then they had to live with their decision... for a week. They rolled a ten-sided die to select a finger and they immobilized it by taping it to an adjacent finger. The students were allowed to stop the experiment at any time as long as they documented the time and gave a reason (e.g. coursework, slicing bananas, etc.).

Every semester I would do the experiment along with the students. I tried to alternate my choice each semester.

Anyway, TV Turnoff Week has me thinking about those strange weeks, and I really don't know if I could go offline for a week now. Somewhere, one of my former students is laughing at me.