Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Information Overload

Among other things, Maine based health initiative Let's Go recommends that individuals spend just two hours of screen time a day. While I completely agree with this, the screen police are headed my way!! My job requires me to be on the computer most of my work day. Once at home I sadly admit that the television is usually on. Not only is my television on but I often have my laptop running. I consider myself quite proficient in multi-tasking. Perhaps this is the reason why I am so out of shape? My life is immersed in technology therefore my daughter has "second hand screen time". We don't actually watch the TV every minute that it is on, it's often just there for background noise. According to statistics on, "Children in households where the TV is on "always" or "most of the time" are less likely to read than are children in other homes. Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children's Digital Media Centers, 2003". Am I inadvertently steering my child away from one of my greatest passions?

Check out this great PSA for National TV Turnoff Week, 2007

Growing up, the homework rule in my household was no television and no radio. It was impossible for me to concentrate!! I finally convinced my father that I needed the background noise and he lifted the no radio constriction. We joke now that I do homework while watching TV (and so does he). Not only do I watch TV but I usually working on my laptop and I switch back and forth from the assignment I'm working on to various websites. I am certainly not alone in my work habits. Teens are doing all that I am as well as texting, instant messaging, talking on the phone with friends. If I ever tried to impose a no electronics homework rule for my daughter she would not even be able to complete her homework. How do we balance technology's influence on our lives and maintain a healthy lifestyle? Let's Go acknowledges how difficult it is to cut screen time to two hours and gives great recommendations on how to accomplish this feat. So, that's my new goal, just two hours of recreational screen time per day… Keep checking my blog to see how I'm doing!

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