Thursday, April 24, 2008

Better Than TV (Kristina Olsen)

I've been meaning to post for days that April 21 - 27, 2008 is TV Turnoff Week, which began in 1995 - when my kids were younger we always participated, to their dismay and my joy!

A few snippets:

Television cuts into family time, harms our children's ability to read and succeed in school, and contributes to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity.

On average, children in the US will spend more time in front of the television (1,023 hours) than in school this year (900 hours). Forty percent of Americans frequently or always watch television during dinner. As US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher said at the Kick Off of TV-Turnoff Week 2001, "We are raising the most overweight generation of youngsters in American history...This week is about saving lives."

Turning off the television gives us a chance to think, read, create, and do. To connect with our families and engage in our communities. To turn off TV and turn on life.

TV-Turnoff Week is supported by over 70 national organizations including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Education Association, and President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. To find out who else supports the Week, visit our allies section.

I notice their general website has now been changed to Screen-Time Awareness, which "provides information so people can live healthier lives in functional families in vibrant communities by taking control of the electronic media in their lives, not allowing it to control them... a campaign to reduce screen-time and encourage real experiences with real people in real time" - hmmm, sounds as if they're widening the circle to now include video games, iPods, computers and, dare I say it?, cell phones along with televisions.

Better Than TV by Kristina Olsen (you *must* watch the video... ;-)

Etch A Sketch by Michael McNevin (I can't find the lyrics, but the recurring chorus is "life is like an Etch A Sketch, it's better than a TV set"... and I've included above Michael's illustration of his friend Tracy "stealing" his television!)

The Big Turnoff: Confessions of a TV-Addicted Mom Trying to Raise a TV-Free Kid by Ellen Currey-Wilson

POEM: Fifteen, Maybe Sixteen Things to Worry About by Judith Viorst

My pants could maybe fall down when I dive off the diving board.
My nose could maybe keep growing and never quit.
Miss Brearly could ask me to spell words like stomach and special.
(Stumick and speshul?)
I could play tag all day and always be "it."
Jay Spievack, who's fourteen feet tall, could want to fight me.
My mom and my dad--like Ted's--could want a divorce.
Miss Brearly could ask me a question about Afghanistan.
(Who's Afghanistan?)
Somebody maybe could make me ride a horse.
My mother could maybe decide that I needed more liver.
My dad could decide that I needed less TV.
Miss Brearly could say that I have to write script and stop printing.
(I'm better at printing.)
Chris could decide to stop being friends with me.

The world could maybe come to an end on next Tuesday.
The ceiling could maybe come crashing on my head.
I maybe could run out of things for me to worry about.
And then I'd have to do my homework instead.

QUOTE: "Television has changed a child from an irresistible force to an immovable object." ~ Author Unknown


  1. I just heard Michael McNevin's Etch-A-Sketch and was looking for more. Ended up here, nice blog title. Will read some more. Jeff aka HumbleUker. Blessings.

  2. Hey, Jeffrey ~

    Thanks for finding me, albeit circuitously - Michael McNevin is one of my favorite people, as well as being a gifted songwriter!

    I wish you continued delight as you discover more of his amazing songs - will check out your site as well... :-)