"American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV."
-- The Kaiser Family Foundation
Last year, I decided that our little family should unplug from the world for a bit, seven days to be exact. We locked up the entertainment center, put away our iPods & powered down our PCs. You can read about our experiences here, here and here. It was an amazing experience for us as a family. I was astounded by how much information comes into our house through television, podcasts and the internet every day. It is next to impossible to think clearly with such an information overload.
After our experience, I was approached by a producer at PBS' Frontline about my "Unplugged" week. They are running a series called "Digital Nation" and taking an in-depth look at whether our 24/7 wired world is causing us to lose as much as we gain. Although I opted to not be interviewed, I think it is fascinating to look at how much damage is being done to the psyche through information overload & multi-tasking. (Sidenote: My hubby and I regularly disagree about the necessity of multi-tasking. I understand his point that there are studies that show that multi-tasking doesn't accomplish more than single tasking. My point to him is that you DON'T HAVE TO STAND THERE AND WATCH THE FRICKIN' POT BOIL! DO SOMETHING ELSE WHILE YOU WAIT! If I did one thing at a time, we'd live in a house of filth and nobody would be fed. I digress....)
I have a girlfriend who regularly goes on "cleansing" diets, claiming that it purges all the toxins from her body. Why not purge all of the mental toxins that are coming in at you through your television & computer (yeah, even from me)? Now, when I say "Unplugged", I don't mean that you'll be cooking by campfire & reading by candlelight. The electricity stays on (at least in our house it does -- it's summer and mama needs her air conditioning!). The telephone still rings (though not as much). And we do listen to the radio in the car. As I mentioned last year, I'm not trying to go Amish. I'm just trying to cut back on the technology in our house.
Won't you join me in going unplugged for seven days in June? It's just one week. And I promise you that it will change your life. Or at least clear you mind! Who's with me?
I'll be back next week with suggestions to help you get ready. Meanwhile, here are some interesting websites for you to check out: