Turnoff Week: Will Your Family Be Turning Off?

Today marks the start of Turnoff Week, an annual international initiative that advocates we all turn off our TVs and other media gadgets (including *ahem* computers and the internet) for one week in order to remind ourselves of the importance of connecting with ourselves and our loved ones. Will your family be turning off?

Why turn off? According to the Center for Screen-Time Awareness, one of the proponents of Turnoff Week:

  • Screen time cuts into family time and is a leading cause of obesity in both adults and children.
  • The average daily usage for all screens, in some countries, has reached 9 hours per day (not including work time).
  • On average, people watch 4 hours of television and then spend another 4 plus hours with computers, games, video, iPods and cell phones.

But is turning off for a mere week effective? Well, anecdotal evidence from people who responded to follow-up surveys after previous Turnoff Weeks suggests that the majority of people who turned off for a week continued to reduce their screen time.

Is excessive screen time an issue in your home? And how would you define "excessive"? Have you ever thought about trimming your TV/web media diet? Would you consider pulling the plug on your media gadgets for a week?

(Image: Flickr member {N}Duran, licensed for use under Creative Commons)