Are You Participating in Screen-Free Week?

a child staring at a laptop screen

Are you participating in “Screen-Free” Week? Chances are, if you’re reading this, you aren’t. Or you just haven’t heard of it yet.

Screen-Free Week is an annual event where children, families, schools and communities are encouraged to turn off their screens and “turn on life.” Instead of relying on screens for entertainment, participants read, daydream, explore, enjoy nature and spend time with family and friends.

It’s a nice idea, isn’t it?

Too bad most of us probably have jobs that require us to login some screen time and many of our children use computers for school and extracurricular projects.

For me, my job is strictly on the Internet, which includes participating in social media, so going screen-free isn’t really an option for me.

Maybe some of you could technically go without a screen for a week, but does that mean you have to? I understand what the mission behind this movement is and I’m all for families spending more quality time with each other, their imaginations and the great outdoors.


I’ve decided my personal “Screen-Free” Week is going to be a practice in moderation. Here are the rules I’m setting for myself and my children:

  • No screens during dinnertime, including my iPhone. I know that I am “supposed” to do this every evening, but listen – it happens, ok?
  • No personal Facebooking after work hours. I use Facebook during the day for work, but I don’t need to spend an hour of my precious evening time looking at my 3rd grade bully’s vacation photos, or wondering why no one has commented on my most recent hilarious status update.
  • No TV. This one is easy for me because we don’t have TV, but I have been known to watch some Hulu and download episodes of Mad Men on iTunes. I’m sorry Don, you’ll just have to wait to see me until next week.
  • No letting my children play with my iPhone in waiting rooms or during appointments. Plenty of children have survived waiting without the aid of Monkey Lunchbox or Dora’s Magical Adventure. It’s me I’m a little worried about, but I’ll do my best to hang in there.

Ok. Four “Screen-Free” rules and one week. Think I can do it?