The April 30-May 6, 2012 week-long activity, which for years was a turn-off-the-TV event, aims to encourage children and their families (and yes, adults with their digital devices), to be less dependent on activities in front of screens, encouraging all of us to consider other types of activities such as reading, playing outside, board games and exercise.
The point of Screen-Free Week is not to forget about digital activities, stop doing homework, and ignore the work that needs to be accomplished each day. Rather it’s a time to think carefully about the digital screen logjam in our lives and consider just how much time we are spending in front of TV, computers, iPods, iPhones, Blackberries, and other gadgets — and whether some of that time is better used for other things.
Just about everyone needs to come up with strategies to balance screen time activities with the rest of our lives, perhaps adding a bit more variation and creativity to our daily endeavors. But the week can also be a time to think about the quality of life. We should be asking ourselves, “How can we use our devices to learn and collaborate more, and are there ways they might help us grown into more productive citizens?”
The organization’s website describes the week as a celebration.
Screen-Free Week is a fun and innovative way to improve children’s well-being by reducing dependence on entertainment screen media, including television, video games, computers, and hand-held devices. It’s a time for children to play outside, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend more time having fun with family and friends. And, of course, Screen-Free Week isn’t just about snubbing screens for seven days; it’s a springboard for important lifestyle changes that will improve well-being and quality of life all year round.