April 21st thru April 27th is National TV-Turnoff Week. The Oliver Wolcott Library is encouraging our patrons and friends to take up the challenge to spend less time watching a screen (television, computer, video, etc) and more time living life. To get started, grab a log at the circulation desk and use it to log your television and screen hours on an average week then starting the 21st try to meet your personal goal of spending no time, or at least a little less, in front of an electronic screen. Bring your logs to the library and we will post our collective TV watching habits. Logs can be kept for individuals or keep one for the whole family. Don’t worry no names are posted, so be honest.
You might be asking yourself why? For me, it’s because if I don’t sit down in front of the TV to watch one show (and end up watching 2 or 3), I find that I read more books, do more crafts and get enough sleep. That’s the observations of one lay person on my own habits and life style after I took up the challenge. Turns out that the research says I'm no exception.
According to Nielsen Media Research the average American watches 4.32 hours of television each day. Nielsen has found that the average household TV time has nearly doubled since they first started keeping track in the 1950’s. Nielsen Media Research is the leading provider of television audience measurement and advertising information services worldwide. For more on TV trends go to www.nielsenmedia.com.
The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 2 not be exposed to any TV/electronic screen time and that after that time the TV/screen time be monitored and planned. That's to say that they recommend that you read the TV listing watch the show you are interested in and then turn the TV off. A good plan to prevent getting sucked in to hours of unplanned screen time. Other studies by the Academy of Pediatrics draw conclusions about the relationship between the amount of TV watched and a child's weight. As the number of hours of TV watching goes up so does the weight. Yet another study looks at the lifestyle and habits of teens with TVs in their bedrooms. Those teens tend to eat fewer vegetables, get less exercise and spend less time with their family then their peers with TV free bedrooms. These studies and other guidelines and recommendations can be found at www.aap.org.
For more reading on the topic check these out:
The Plug in Drug by Marie Winn 302.234 Winn
The Other Parent: the insiders story of the media’s effects on our children by James P. Steyer, 305.23 STE
by Michael Medved and Diane Medved. 305.23 Med
Kids Online: protecting your children in cyberspace by Donna Rice Hughes, 649.1 Hug
Or, check out Ann Marie's article featured in Mothering Magazine: Breaking Out of the Box
Post written by the guest blogger ,
Denise Butwill the Children's Services Librarian Assistant at the OWL or as the kiddies know her as