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.
-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. ^_^