Okay I feel a little guilty writing this post as I watch a DVR'd program while typing on my netbook, laptop and Blackberry next to me. Not role model activity for a post about screen-free week! I am blaming this excess on the pine pollen which has me cooped up inside until the worst is over.
Kids having fun outdoors at Bear Creek Lake State Park
photo by Bill Crabtree Jr. Virginia Tourism Corporation
As a child, I was outdoors all the time. But we had only three channels on the television no computers and no video games. I am definitely showing my age here! Children today are surrounded by electronics and can spend most of their day in front of one screen or another. It's so bad that TV Turn-Off week has been changed to Screen-Free Week. You can ban television for only a couple of hours but children can find their favorite shows on the computer and then there are video games and computer time.
Here's some startling facts from the report Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds:
Over the past five years, young people have increased the amount of time they spend consuming media by an hour and seventeen minutes daily, from 6:21 to 7:38—almost
the amount of time most adults spend at work each day, except that young people use media seven days a week instead of five.
Moreover, given the amount of time they spend using more than one medium at a time, today’s youth pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those daily 7½ hours—an increase of almost 2¼ hours of media exposure per day over the past five years.