Taking the Lean Screen Challenge
I may fail, but you have a chance to win.
Care to take a guess at how many screens are in my house?
I counted, and in our little 1,000-square-foot corner of the world, for just two grown-up people, there are NINE: three phones, three laptops, one television and two desktop computers.
This worries me, because I have taken the Lean Screen pledge, starting tomorrow. Lean Screen Week is April 18-24.
A local observance of what used to be called TV Turnoff Week was organized by the Commission for Children, Youth and Families almost a decade ago. For seven days, families were asked to turn off their televisions.
These days, it's not enough just to turn off the television. Children — and adults — spend more time than ever in front of screens. And while the goal is only to reduce screen use, I cannot even begin to imagine how I'm going to do that.
I fall asleep with the television on.
I check my email before I have breakfast.
I spend hours every day with a laptop perched on my knees.
When I took a five-day vacation in March, my daughter made sure the hotel room she reserved for us had Wi-Fi. "I know how you are, Mom," she said.
So I'm going into this with the full expectation that I will fail at significantly reducing my screen use. My plan is to use screens only for work and to limit my overall use to six hours a day. I think it will probably be easy enough to avoid watching television in the evening; I follow only a few TV shows.
But while there are conscious decisions that I make about television use, most are subconscious: Flipping the TV on while I'm half-awake, reaching for the remote when I can't fall asleep at night, keeping my phone out at all times (even, sadly, during meals).
I'm going to think more about those actions this week. And every day, I'll share my thoughts and progress, with the goal of starting a community conversation.
Add your comments and win
As an added incentive, we've cooked up a little contest to encourage you to stop back here at Patch at noon every day this week. I really hope you'll take the Lean Screen challenge, too, and share your experiences.
Look for my first Lean Screen Journal entry at noon Monday. And please – wish me luck.