National Day of Un-Plugging

Have you heard that the National Day of Un-Plugging starts tonight at sundown and lasts through tomorrow evening? Reboot who, according to their site, has a number of active programs that provide DIY tools for individuals and communities to explore Jewish identity, started the event several years ago – and I LOVE IT!

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While I am a big fan of social media (hello, I’m contributing to it right now) I also yearn for the days when our lives were less complicated, less harried and not Facebook-infused.  I have chronicled screen-free periods in my life before, so I’m not going to do that today.  But what I will do is leave you with a list of things you can do while you are abstaining from technology over the next day or so:

  • bake a cake
  • take a walk
  • read a book
  • draw a picture
  • play a board game
  • do a puzzle
  • talk to a neighbor
  • re-organize your kitchen
  • plan your summer garden
  • read a magazine
  • make a cup of tea
  • re-arrange your living room
  • talk to your kids
  • hold hands with your partner
  • do nothing at all

Most of all – enjoy engaging with those around you!


TV: Love to Hate it, Or Hate to Love It?

I like pop culture.  It’s silly, often funny, and almost always a great way for me to escape reality for a while.  When I think of the positives of TV, movies, and other sorts of “screen activities,” I think of stress management (laughter) and the making of fun memories (sitting on the floor of the sold out theater watching Dirty Dancing and wishing I were Baby).  But of course, there are many negatives to screen time too, especially when kids (and adults) spend a large part of their days and nights forgoing other activities (exercise, social interaction) and instead sit glued to a screen.

I was recently interviewed for this article on the website About Kids Health.  The reporter, Jonathan Link, did an outstanding job of highlighting the pitfalls when kids and families spend too much time in front of a screen.  I provided some tips about how to cut back on TV and other screen time, and talked a bit about my own experiences during Screen Free Week a couple of years ago.  Read the complete article here.

National Screen Free Week!

Today marks the start of one of my favorite weeks of the year – Screen Free Week.  This is a week when families are encouraged to get off the couch, turn off the TV, computer, and video games and do something different.  Engage with each other, get active outside, try something new!  Last year I pledged to remain screen free for the week and I (almost) made it.  Read about my experiences here.

This year I am going to try it again – will you make the pledge with me?

Some thoughts via National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There program:

“The tolls of an indoor childhood include:

  1. Declining creativity, concentration, and social skills
  2. Doubling of the childhood obesity rate with an incremental $100 billion annual cost to our public health system
  3. Alarming increase in prescribed antidepressants for American children over the past 10 years

Outdoor play offers physical, emotional and health benefits:

  1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 60 minutes of daily unstructured free play to improve children’s physical and mental health
  2. National Association for the Education of Young Children cites that play is an active form of learning that unites the mind, body, and spirit
  3. Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative, less aggressive, and show better concentration”

Want more information about the Be Out There program, or want to sign a pledge? Check them out here:And check back here throughout the week for ideas of new, fun things to do with your family while you spend the week screen free!

Photo by: Sha3teely