April 30–May 6, 2012 is Screen-Free Week, an ancient event once you realize its maiden name is “TV Turn-Off Week.”
Take it from me, raised from a pup on B&W reruns of Batman, Captain Kangaroo, and My Three Sons. Television and its offspring haven’t done me any good except to expand my lexicon of Christian names for males to include “Hoss” and “Beave.”
The Campaign for Commercial-Childhood and its sister organization for teachers, TRUCE, are the go-to guys for suggestions, hand-holding, and incredibly even-handed research and commentary on the effects of media on kids. Even if you are idly curious about why anyone would want to voluntarily go on a screen-free diet and have no intention of coming on board this particular wagon, why not check them out. C’mon.
I’m not planning to go overboard here. My kids already complain that we’re “hippies” because our TV isn’t plugged into the cable signal. We’re going to be on our phones and laptop screens doing our usual reading and posting and follow-up and staying über-in-touch with everyone but ourselves in those whee! hours at the crack of dawn before the little darlings wake up. And of course, at work.
I, for one, plan to sugarcoat everything with a nice dose of….audio. Yup, that’s right. I’m going straight for a pure sugar high of Audiobooks, Music, and Spoken Word heaven. Like a bit o’Firesign Theatre—that is, ancient podcasts of Firesign Theatre.