From better health to better learning to better connections with family and friends, there are so many reasons to celebrate Screen-Free Week. Here’s another: reducing kids’ screen time is the primary way that parents can safeguard children from corporate marketers.
Marketers want 24/7 access to our children so they can sell them things they don’t need. In fact, children are overwhelmed with more than 5,000 advertising impressions per day—many of which are coming at them in rapid succession via the screens in their lives. Buying all that stuff can diminish a child’s wellbeing, particularly when the products marketed to kids are so often junk food and junk toys that can harm a child’s health and creativity.
Screens also allow marketers to sell kids on the false message that buying things will make them happy. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence that the opposite is true: The desire to spend and consume is actually associated with lower levels of happiness. Hitting the pause button on screen time for one week (or longer) will give you an opportunity to reassess the situation and think about who is (and who should be) shaping your child’s narrative.
We recognize that screens are such a big part of our culture and routines that unplugging for a week might seem intimidating. That’s why CCFC has created a great list of screen-free activities and other tips to make the week rewarding and fun. You can find all this and more at www.screenfree.org.
Here’s to a proactive Screen-Free Week and a less commercialized childhood,
CCFC Board Member & President of Share Save Spend