Turn your screens off
29 April – 5 May is screen-free week. When was the last time you’ve enjoyed an entire day screen-free? Probably some time ago. Isn’t it then even more surprising that since 1994 numerous organisations are participating in the TV Turnoff and now the screen-free week? But a week without any screen activities, I hear you say, that’s insane. Bear with me!
How it started
When you look back at your childhood and compare to your kids (or your friends’ kids), you’ll see one big difference. They are used to screens everywhere. Give a two-year-old an iPad and I bet, they know how to get the app started. Okay, maybe not the two-year-old, but definitely the four-year-old!
For Henry Labalme and Matt Pawa, playing on a touchscreen does not represent a healthy childhood. They wanted to encourage creative play, have kids explore and enjoy nature. Imagination is lost too quickly and curiosity also seems to be limited these days. We rely too much on TV and movies for easy entertainment.
The big question was for them, how do you get kids to thrive? By playing!
Since the first TV-Free America initiative ran in 1994, over 300 million people have taken part and unplugged themselves.
What are the benefits?
You free up time
“I don’t have time” is one sentence I hear over and over. When we then dig into how they spend their free time, it’s actually in front of a screen and no, they’re not movie producers. Watching TV eats up a lot of your time. Just like getting on social media for just a few minutes. Have you ever checked how long you’ve been sitting in front of that screen? Most likely longer than what you thought.
You become more social
Have you ever noticed the families dining out and (almost) every family member stares at their screen? When you leave your phones in your pocket or handbag, you engage in conversations with your family. You can develop deeper relationships with them and have more meaningful discussions than just asking “how was your day?”.
You become more active
Being in front of your TV or laptop is a sedative activity. Fair enough, you may change your position on the couch. Still, by turning off your devices, you’re much more likely to get on your feet and be active.
You avoid the Hollywood effect
So often, I’ve met individuals who were trying to live a life Hollywood dictates. Remember the movie The Joneses where the family presented a super cool lifestyle that drove their neighbours into deadly death? Turning off TV and social media reduces potential lifestyle envy and lets you live your life!
You can thrive
Do you want to change careers or set up your own business? Can’t find the time to take that class or start your side hustle? Get away from your screens. It frees up the time you need to learn a new skill and set up for the future you want.
There are so many screen-free activities waiting for you to do. Here are 15 suggestions for you and your family:
- Call or visit a friend
- Take a class
- Work out in the gym
- Draw a picture
- Cook a meal
- Read a book
- Go for a walk
- Solve a crossword
- Do some arts and craft
- Play a board game
- Do some gardening
- Work on your DIY project
- Volunteer for a cause
- Make up a story with your kids
- Play a musical instrument
Are you in this week? Will you unplug yourself and enjoy a screen-free week? Share what you’re doing this week!
Until next time,