Media and the Mind I read this post from a blogger I just happened to visit-not one I was normally reading (but I will now). I really appreciate how she put into a brief synopsis so much of what I've been reading lately. I've been hearing of this book "Endangered Minds" but haven't read it yet. I HAVE read Waldorf's recommendations on getting rid of "media" ie TV, video games, computer games. RDI recommends cutting way back on screen time (their way of referring to the same things). It's really funny (not ha ha funny) how people can be so horrified at living life without TV. I know to a certain extent I used to be the same way. Live without shows?? You've got to be kidding me. I have actually lived without a TV on two separate occasions in my life. Once, when I moved out and out-of-state from my parents I lived for about 8 months with no TV. I was suffering from depression then, so really once I got the TV it didn't make much difference. I was still sucked into my void. The other time was when I moved into an apartment, right before the King and I got married. We lived without a TV for over a year I think. I got a lot more of my important reading done and the King got a lot more sleep. Now I've just got too much to do to be that interested in TV. Plus, programming has gone to pot. There are a lot of shows that I wouldn't want to be watching if I were watching TV. I seem to have a weakness each year for American Idol. (I just hate when they show commercials for junky shows during this time period. Please, my kids watch it with me!) And in the winter, the King and I do enjoy some of the Masterpiece Theater programs. (of course LOL) But that's been the extent of my TV habits the last few years. Sometimes, hubby will want me to watch a movie with him and I have to make myself sit down and watch something. I'd much rather be reading "Endangered Minds"!
Now with the kids, I'm trying to cut back on "screen time". I've told them that if they watch too much TV their little brains "wont' grow" ;D. We went a week with no TV last year. Pooh did a lot better than I thought he would. I had the days marked on the calendar and he did fine, except he just quoted the movies all day. We recently had to give the kids a No TV day because they had snuck an extra movie while we were doing yard work. I knew they had done it, but decided that instead of going in and confronting them about it, I would just call a No TV day instead. It worked. They promised to "never ever do it again". ;D At least, they got the point for now. No sneaking. We do have the rule that they have to ask first and I have to approve what they are going to watch.
Another thing I've been doing so far is having them pick the PBS shows they are going to watch in advance. We sort of have a little pow wow in the morning and they each tell me which show they want to watch for that day. That way I don't get asked 5 million times if they can watch this or that. They know what time the shows come on and Pooh definitely keeps track of the clock for that. If he misses the show he's picked while we are at home doing something, he will get upset. But, if we're out and about, he's much more mellow that "he'll see it another day." So, there's some flexibility there.
I think I mentioned before about how I've gone through their videos and donated a bunch to the library. That is one way of cutting down on clutter and the importance of hoarding all these movies. I like borrowing the movies from the library because I have a much larger variety there to have them choose from. They have to be turned in within a week too, so that means that there's an end to when they are available. We do still have some movies at home for family movie night, sick time, really bad weather, etc.
This is getting kind of long and I haven't even gotten to the laundry part yet. I'm going to have to do another Media post about what my future plans are too. So, the laundry portion of this is that yesterday we went shopping for our new washer and dryer. Yep, had to get a new set. There weren't any on Freecycle. (Sears had a nice sale, 12 months no interest, plus we had another 10% coupon. So I got a set of front loaders. Whoaaaa! They are cool! The dryer works faster than the washer. The complete opposite of what I had before. Go figure!)
Anyway, I know you're waiting to see what Laundry has to do with TV. Well, when we were talking to the appliance guy at Sears, I mentioned that all the new TV's were cool. You know, big flat screens and the colours are just amazing on them. Not that we were looking to buy, but just saying. He talks about how there was one on a really good sale. Then I made the comment that we only had one TV and we were trying to keep it that way. You should have seen his face. You would have thought I said we used an outhouse instead of a bathroom! It's funny and yet sad. When we did become a society that needed to have one TV per person in the house? It separates Mom and Dad watcing from the kids watching. I think the TV watching should be something planned. That way it helps control the amount of time one watches it and teaches compromise. Mom wants to watch Oprah-Kids want to watch Arthur? Compromise. Or better yet, go for a walk together.
There's so much out there besides TV. It's time to get out there and experience it.