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Posted in Family and Friends | May 2014

Turn off the screen and turn on life!

tech timeout
Computers, televisions and electronic devices are all a part of our lives. We use them for work and school, and there is no doubt that they can be valuable tools for learning and productivity. But they can also be enormous distractions that take us away from the kind of communication that keeps families strong and connected, and the kind of activities that keep bodies healthy and moving.

That’s why Screen-Free Week was created. It’s an annual, international celebration when schools, families and community groups pledge to spend 7 days without entertainment screen media, according to Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the presenter of Screen-Free Week.

The concern is that excessive screen time is linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity and attention problems.1 By giving up screens for a week (with the exception of computers legitimately used for work or schoolwork), both children and adults can re-learn the ability to live in the “real” world, truly connect with each other face-to-face, and rediscover a life beyond the screen.

You and your family can participate by pledging to give up using computers, electronic devices and televisions for entertainment purposes during the week of May 5-11.

If you are interested in making screen-free time part of your lives you can also consider participating in Tech Timeout. This ongoing initiative created by Foresters encourages families to take a daily, one-hour break from technology for one week. Take the pledge on the Tech Timeout website and spread the word by inviting friends and family to join you.

According to an online Tech Timeout survey¹ conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Foresters, over a quarter of multi-person households across the United States and Canada have 10 or more screens in the home, and 67% of Canadians and Americans in multi-person households believe they overuse at least one of their in-home electronic devices.

The only way to stop the growing dependence upon screens for entertainment is to make a concerted effort to turn them off and turn on life. Give it a try during the week of May 5-11.

¹Online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Foresters from October 10-22, 2013 among 1,507 US and 1,021 Canadian adults age 25-55 living with at least one family member.

410988 CAN/US (04/15)


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