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Friday, April 24, 2009

The Plug-In Drug

We're on day 5 of TV Turnoff Week, and I am not looking forward to the day when we can turn the television on again.

I've been reading the book The Plug-In Drug: Television, Computer and Family Life, and in it, Marie Winn makes a wonderful case for greatly restricting or eliminating television viewing. Ms. Winn discusses television's appeal to both children and parents, and examines the negative behavioral, physical and social consequences of excessive television viewing.

She also shares ideas for "natural controls" we can use to make TV less appealing and convenient. Among those ideas are:
  1. Place your TV set in a room where it is out of sight and inconvenient to use.
  2. Use a small television set that has poor reception, sound or picture.
  3. Reduce the number of TV sets you own.
  4. Don't place television sets in children's bedrooms.
  5. Cancel cable to limit the number of channels and shows available.
  6. Participate in a turnoff event or stage one for your family.
Closing the doors to our TV cabinet has gone a long way towards keeping television off of our minds. From now on, we're planning to keep those doors closed Monday through Friday.

Follow this link to learn more about the The Plug-In Drug.

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Graceful Threads said...

We havent had a TV in 13 years and my children are so out of tune with the world because of it....Thank GOD!!


a couple of other AWESOME books along these lines are Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman and The Vanishing Word.

Z' Hodges said...

That sounds good. But, I have a hubby that doesn't want us to totally remove it. But, I think when you limit the watch and is there with them. Also choosing the right programs.

I guess we've got a long way to go before we get there. LOL


Dusti said...

Keep the tv doors shut....Amen to that!
We live in a small house so the tv is in the living room but I think since we keep in a cabinet behind doors it is not a centerpiece in our home. We turn it on for a movie twice a week. That's it and I am so thankful we claim those hours for ourselves and not screen time.
Great post - thanks for sharing

The Houston Family said...

I made it 2.5 days without a tv and then I caved. I am ready to give it another go. I grew up without a television and because of that I read a lot! I watch my 3 year old watching tv with her thumb in her mouth and her eyes glazed over and it makes me sick! Take a few minutes and really watch your kids when they are watching tv. You might be shocked at what you see.

Dodie said...

Wow, now I'm feeling kind of bad because the last few posts I put on my blog were about how TV and movies can actually help kids learn, if done right, and I guess I still think so because of my own experience. But I'm sure the book is an eye-opener, and I definitely feel like too much is bad, especially if it's just used to placate the kids. But I will be interested in seeing how it goes...

Jennifer said...

Love your article! I gotta tell you a story...when my oldest daughter was in 3rd grade, we didn't even own a tv. I loved it. Anyway, her teacher (she was in p.s. then) asked her why she read so much. When she learned we didn't own a tv, she gave us one! A TEACHER!! I was appalled! I told her that it was choice, not economic problems...I thought it was sad.