April 2019

Screen-Free Week starts April 29!; How to Do Nothing; SFW Organizer Spotlight; Our latest webinar; Don’t Miss Screenagers; Featured Resources; Recommended Screen-Free Reading

Newsletter HTML: 

In this issue:

  • Screen-Free Week starts April 29!
  • How to Do Nothing
  • SFW Organizer Spotlight
  • Our latest webinar
  • Don’t Miss Screenagers
  • Featured Resources
  • Recommended Screen-Free Reading

Screen-Free Week starts April 29!

This Monday, join thousands of other families, schools, communities, and individuals as they put down screen-based entertainment and celebrate life away from digital devices!  

Why go screen-free? Think of what you can do with an extra 10, 20, or 30 hours a week: more time to make a meal with loved ones, explore your neighborhood, teach or learn something new, sing songs, play games, or just lay around and do nothing – together! As one 2019 organizer says, “Screen-Free Week lets me stop and breathe...it reminds me to spend more time with my family, and that can never be replaced by a device or the TV.”

Whether you’re going fully screen-free or just trying not to look at Twitter so much, here are a few simple steps to get you started:

  • Use our social media logos and frames and the hashtag #screenfreeweek to let your friends know you’re offline.
  • Set up your email autoresponder to notify everyone you’d love to chat and continue the conversation – by phone.
  • Put your phone in “Brick Mode” to let everyone know you’re on a screen break.
  • Grayscale your phone to make it less tempting to pick up. (One CCFC staffer made this photo her phone background during SFW 2018. She reports: “It’s funny AND effective!”)
  • Print this clever graphic and fill it out to inspire yourselves to celebrate.
  • Find an event near you – we’ve mapped nearly 400 across the world!

Need some more inspiration? Check out our free, downloadable resources below in Featured Resources.

We love to hear about how people celebrate! It’s not too late to register your event with us. And afterward, we’d love to see photos, artwork, poems, songs, and anything else you create as part of the fun! Send us any questions, stories, or just say hi at ccfc@commercialfreechildhood.org.   

How to Do Nothing

What do we do when we do nothing? According to author and artist Jenny Odell, a whole lot. Odell’s new book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, is part manifesto, part self-help text, and a perfect read for Screen-Free Week. By disengaging from ad-supported technology and other hallmarks of the attention economy, says Odell, we aren’t just doing something that feels good or is good for us. We’re doing the deeply needed work of relearning how to pay attention to what matters –not what corporations tell us matters. On the Screen-Free Week blog, CCFC’s Melissa Campbell explores how Odell’s book puts going screen-free in a new light, and reveals just how powerful unplugging can be.

SFW Organizer Spotlight

CCFC might be the host of Screen-Free Week, but it’s the incredible organizers who really bring the celebration to life! In Frederick, MD, Dr. Alison Bomba and occupational therapist Kelly Beins have made Screen-Free Week an official party – complete with a mayoral proclamation! Thanks to Alison and Kelly’s dedication, families in Frederick will be able to get in on the screen-free fun at libraries, parks, local businesses, schools, and other community institutions. Plus, Screen-Free Frederick has facilitated conversations about screen time, creative play, and the joy of unplugging all throughout the community. Says Alison, “We’re keeping it light, we’re keeping it fun, and we’re engaging people throughout the year.” Hear more about this awesome, citywide celebration on the Screen-Free Week blog – then get out there and celebrate!

Our latest webinar

Many thanks to Brooke Shannon and Dr. Natasha Burgert for sitting down with our Jean Rogers to talk about the Wait Until 8th pledge and children's use of smartphones! They discussed why smartphones are different from other screens and how kids are developmentally unprepared to use tablets and smartphones. For parents who want to “make sure their kids aren’t the only ones looking up instead of down,” they gave advice on how to introduce the Wait Until 8th pledge in their communities and schools. Watch the recording here.

Don’t Miss Screenagers

On Tuesday, May 7, award-winning documentary Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age will come to theaters for one night only! Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston was concerned about how often she saw kids on screens, so she decided to dive deeper. In this moving documentary, hear personal stories and professional opinions surrounding screen time issues, as well as practical solutions for concerned parents. Learn more and find a screening near you.

Featured Resources

It’s not too late to have a Screen-Free Week celebration! We have everything you need freely available on our website – including promo materials, logos, and press releases, so you can publicize your event even at the last minute! Plus, check out parent guides, colorful posters, pledge cards, activity logs, certificates of participation, and more. Happy unplugging!

Recommended Screen-Free Reading