Tag Archives: SCREEN-FREE WEEK

SCREEN-FREE WEEK 2016

turnedoff finale2

Screen-Free Week is about whether you’re able to go for a full week without using any electronic devices that have screens. This year, it’s being held from may 2nd to 8th. Basically, we’re talking about anything from smartphones, tablets, televisions, consoles, to computers and laptops. The numeral display on your microwave gets a pass.

I’ve participated twice in the exercise so far:

https://technology4democracy.com/2013/04/28/screen-free-week/

https://technology4democracy.com/2014/05/02/screen-free-week-2-0/

And I have to say I have mixed feelings about it. Sure, media addiction is a real problem. People spend a ridiculous amount of time every day being absolutely fixated to flickering screens, so much so that they don’t notice the real world happening live, right in front of them. So it makes sense to have a media awareness campaign  that dares to ask people to look at whether or not their media consumption is balanced or not.

On the flip side though, as someone who’s participated in the challenge twice, I have to say that going a whole week without any means of contacting people digitally can be  little harsh. If you happen to be isolated and you don’t have many, or any,  people in your life that you can spend time with in person. Because, let’s say you came out to your friends and family and ended up alone. Then Screen-Free Week can be a bit of a tall order. In reality, it’s like asking someone to go without any human contact for a week. For outcast queer people like me, sometimes communicating digitally is the only type of socializing that we have access to.

It seems to me that the same people who preach  about returning to more down-to-earth traditional values, and cutting off contact with technology, are the same people who exclude people who don’t fit the mold, from their communities. So you can’t really blame us if we become addicted to our electronic devices afterwards. Your communities are barred to us.

 

 

[n]

[ EYE NOTICE ]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCREEN-FREE WEEK 2.0

 

9 screens on OFF

SCREEN-FREE WEEK is from may 5th to the 11th this year, and I intend to take another stab at it. Media addiction is real, and in some extreme cases, it can ruin careers, relationship and even families. I’m not advocating for people to go out and smash their TV’s to bits in their driveways. But what I’d like to do, is have a dialogue on the subject.

It’s a good idea to be aware of how much time per week, that we’re spending just sitting there being idle, just absorbing screen-fed, infotainment  content, like some digital baby being fed virtual nourishment.

Over-consumption of media is like a run-on sentence. Something that starts off feeling good, but drags on for so long that it might end up making you feel nauseous. Throughout my life, I have binged on media. Whether it was watching 8-9 hours of tv a day, everyday, as a kid. Or playing some 10-12 hours of video games in a row, during the weekend as an adult. Great storytelling has a tendency to grab me and not let go. And I’m not the only one out there. Left and right, I’m hearing stories of people doing some time travel after getting Netflix, or some other streaming service. It’s  early afternoon, they start off watching an episode of a tv series that ends up being better than anticipated, and next thing you know, it’s now late at night. Time-travel in action.

I’m not going to go entirely offline and screen-free during that week, because realistically, I have no control over what content I’m shown at class. What I am planning to do, is to seriously reduce the amount of digital media I devour. I’m not going to play video games, or watch movies or tv shows, or surf the web for a week. But also have to be realistic, I am going to answer my cell if it rings, and I am going to check my emails quickly everyday, since I am job-hunting.

To me, SCREEN-FREE WEEK isn’t about being media-abstinent as a show of willpower. It’s about meditating on how much of our personal time we’re willing to give to absorbing other people’s stories, and how much we’re willing to invest in living out own lives, and in the process, living out our own stories.

[n]

 

-UPDATED May 13th :

I may have fumbled a few times ( I played some ps3 ), but I consider my SCREEN-FREE WEEK as at least, a moderate success. It was hard not to watch any tv shows & movies. Not being able to surf the web and check facebook made me feel disconnected at first. But then it felt great to have all that extra time to work on my projects, and to go outside. ^_^

 

the-on-off-pill

 

 

BACK IN THE LOOP

skateboarders' mobius strip

Am I ever so glad to be back online ( Knock on wood ). I recently ended up spending a month and a half without an internet connection ( The laundromat’s flaky wi-fi doesn’t count ). The phone company, the internet company, and even my landlord, like the stars lining up,  all seemed to have their own unavoidable, irritating systematic malfunctions that prevented me from being able to hook up to the web on schedule.

It makes you realize how much and how quickly one becomes dependant on technology. I can easily go months without caffeine or alcohol, but no internet access for more than a few days, and I start to feel like I’m drowning.

So yeah, I thought this little unplanned update would be a nice follow-up to my “SCREEN-FREE WEEK” article I wrote earlier this year:

[ TV SWARM ]https://technology4democracy.com/2013/04/28/screen-free-week/

So the moral of the story is: Willingly going off the grid for a few days makes for an interesting social experiment. Going off the grid for a few weeks because of a series of idiotic mishaps, well that makes for a very dry, vanilla, type of existence. Call me a techno-snob for saying so, I don’t care.

[n]

NATNOTE: Sorry if this entry ended up sounding a little negative, I’m actually totally psyched and excited to be back online, WOO-HOO!!  :D

INFINITY LOOP

SCREEN-FREE WEEK

[ TV SWARM ]It used to be known as “TV-turnoff week”, and it was probably easier back then to only have to give up TV. Now, the challenge is to give up your addiction to all screen devices. The official dates for SCREEN-FREE WEEK in 2013, are from April 28th to May 5th. I got to say, it’s a tall order. I’m actively looking for a new job, so in my case I can’t afford to not check my emails. But I do plan on going at least “TV and video game free” starting tomorrow, and for the rest of the week. I’ll be posting my impressions once the challenge is over.

[ TV SNOW ]

One might wonder why I might encourage my readers to drop off the grid for a week, because at the same time, I’m reducing the potential amount of visitors I get to this site. I figure this is probably the main reason the mainstream media doesn’t talk about this campaign much. But technology4democracy isn’t about popularity, it’s about principles. Media addiction is real, and it’s especially a problem for some people. I believe the electorate needs to be more media-savvy, and campaigns that promote awareness of the pitfalls of mass-media, should be encouraged.

I cannot think of anything sadder than people who voluntarily sign up to receive a modern-day equivalent of the Ludovico Technique. ( see image below )

[ ludovico ]

For those who missed “A Clockwork Orange”, the Ludovico Technique is a ghastly sci-fi medical procedure that uses drugs, media, and  as you can see,   eye-clamps,  in a vain attempt to reform criminals.

So  in conclusion, please go ahead, take off your metaphorical media-clamps for a week, and see how it feels, I dare [ YOU ] !

[n]

POST-EVENT-UPDATE: I gave it a shot, and in my case Screen-free week was a total failure. During that week, not only did I watch tv and movies, and play videogames, I also signed up for a new cel phone, as well as moved into a new pad that comes with cable tv. So yeah, a total bust!  :(

[ YOU ] two