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.
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 )
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 ] !
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! :(
SCREEN-FREE WEEK 2016
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:
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.
Posted in COMMENTARY, TEXTUALS WITHOUT VISUALS
Tagged fighting the power, game console, internet, media saturation, screen devices, SCREEN-FREE WEEK, smartphones, tablet, television, TV TURNOFF WEEK