This was quite an interesting week for me. As I have already mentioned multiple times, we have not had TV for 5 1/2 years, so my challenge to myself was to limit my time online. It was SO HARD!! I think I am definitely addicted.
I planned on trying to limit my online time to an hour a day. You may or may not have noticed that my posts have been far less verbose this past week, which is probably a very good thing! However, my big “problem” seems to be email. If the computer is on (unfortunately it is in the kitchen, where I am most of the time), then I want to “just quickly check” my email every time I walk by it. The pathetic thing is, that more often then not, I get this obnoxious “DING!!!” (which is computer-speak for “you loser, nobody loves you, there is no email for you, ha ha!”). Usually I can just ignore the snub and move on. But this week, I felt so guilty every time I checked my email, that every “ding” felt like being rapped on the knuckles for bad behavior!
After Tuesday, I ended up turning the computer off during the day time. I would check in the morning, and at lunch, and then again at dinner. After the kids were in bed I would do a post. The hardest time was while I was making dinner. The baby was in bed, the kids were playing elsewhere, and I was standing watching the stove with nothing else to do…and my computer would call out to me.
My kids had a great week. They didn’t notice a thing. I had planned on forbidding videos if they asked, but they never did. Among other things, they made a pretend store that sold “potry” (their spelling) – “pottery” made out of construction paper, built a fairy house in the vacant treed lot adjoining ours, built houses out of two huge boxes, read books, made birthday cards, had a Kids Cook Night, and my oldest worked on her school project about piranhas.
I was overly optimistic as to my personal goals which were as follows:
- A maximum of one hour per day online – Hard!! I averaged 1 hour 30 mins per day, which wasn’t my goal, but was less than usual.
- I will order my roses from David Austin – Didn’t do it.
- I will begin watering and weeding my garden – Nope, but most of the week was cold and windy.
- By the end of the week I will have my front porch looking planted and pretty again for spring – Sorry…cold and windy!
- I will try to read an extra book, do a craft, or play a game with my kids after school every day – Yes, we did do something extra after school every day.
- We shall have TWO Kids Cook Nights next week instead of one – Only one.
- I will buy and actually READ the book for my next book club – I bought the book and have read one-third of it.
- I will take at least one long evening bath – Never did it, I just wanted to go to sleep. Sleep or bath, I chose sleep.
But, instead of gardening I did accomplish a big goal that was not on my list, but that was in the back of my mind. I completed a large writing project that I actually never really thought I would do at all. I probably would not have done it if I had not been trying to limit my time online (and if the weather had been nicer).
This week made me far more aware of my time online. I also noticed that the days when I was more successful at avoiding the computer, really seemed more relaxed. I have found, both this week and at other times, that when I spend more time with my kids playing, reading, or just co-existing, we are all more happy and even-tempered.
OK, so how did we all do?? Here are the names and blog links (to the main page) of all the participants who signed Mr. Linky, pledging to try to turn it off for one week. Please check them out. They should each be writing a post about how their attempts at a one week TV blackout went!
Melissa (FINAL POST UP)
Wishy (FINAL POST UP)
The Lazy Organizer
c.a. Marks (FINAL POST UP)
The NON-Superwoman (FINAL POST UP)
Montserrat (FINAL POST UP)
Elizabeth Coplan (FINAL POST UP)
cloudscome (Now Is Your Time!) (FINAL POST UP)
Our Multifarious Fun Family Blog
Brandi (FINAL POST UP)
I really hope that it was a somewhat enjoyable and educational experience for all, despite any whining from kids or hubby that you may have endured. Remember, 100% success was not the primary goal. If you made it all seven days without turning it on even once, GREAT and CONGRATULATIONS!! However what I really hope is that you were at least able to have it on less, just to see what it felt like.
I hope that you and your kids found fun things to do with all the new found free time. Did you meet your personal goals for the week? What was harder than expected and what was easier? For those of you who were already without TV at home, how successful were you at avoiding TVs in the world…or your computer (if you included that in your goals)? Did anything about this experience surprise you? What did your kids do instead of TV?
I really look forward to reading everyone’s summary posts. Mine will be up sometime tomorrow (it is now up – click here), as will the result of my Amazon gift-certificate drawing. Whether or not you were a participant, please try and visit everyone and give them a big virtual pat on the back for being brave enough to try this!
The finding: Surprise!!! TV Violence is bad! It can lead to increased aggression in children. Who knew? The FCC would like congress to come up with a definition of “harmful violence” and issue guidelines for regulating such TV shows.
Defining “harmful” vs. “non-harmful” violence seems a daunting enough task however, as you might imagine, Congress will also be faced with a whole host of Constitutional, free speech issues. Plus there is the more technical question of how to regulate something that can be watched anywhere at anytime thanks to the latest technology.
The NPR story, Breaking Down the FCC Report on TV Violence is a really interesting summary of the FCC report and its recommendations. If you have four spare minutes in your day, listen to it.
TV Turn-Off Week is almost over, but this weekend might be the hardest part! A week without after school and evening TV, followed by kids home all day today and tomorrow because it is the weekend…but before you just give up and turn it on, here is an idea:
Read them Jimmy Jet And His TV Set, by Shel Silverstein and then say “Go outside and play or you’ll turn into Jimmy Jet!” They’ll find something to do out there: dig in the dirt, collect pretty rocks, make fairy houses.
Let me know what your kids do. Good luck and hang in there!
Jimmy Jet And His TV Set can be found in the wonderful collection of poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein entitled Where the Sidewalk Ends 30th Anniversary Edition: Poems and Drawings