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Turn Off the TV

Aug 17, 2007
Imagine what was life was like in the early 1900s without television. What could kids in those days have possibly done for entertainment? Play cowboys and Indians? Maybe with REAL INDIANS! Participate in sports? What sports were even invented in 1900? Build forts? Their houses probably WERE small forts. Read books? Tom Clancy wasn't even born yet. Swim? Hike? Work the farm?

Philo Farnsworth was only 14 years old in 1920 when he first pondered the idea of transmitting electronic images through the airwaves, but it wasn't until he reached the ripe old age of 20 that he actually succeeded in doing it!

Sadly, Farnsworth, who died in 1971 with 300 patents registered in his name, would probably be the first to admit that his invention has been the root of many problems in our society today. Sedentary lifestyle, obesity, junk food snacking, smoking, poor reading skills, and violent behavior have all been linked to TV watching at one time or another.

Near the end April of every year is Turn-Off TV week, easy I guess if you are going camping or a fishing vacation. Why not give this experiment a try while at home?

Turning off your TV for a week offers a perfect opportunity to expose you and your family to a new, more productive way of of life, challenging them to explore new lifestyle endeavors.

You are bound to meet some resistance from your kids, so preplanning fun TV alternatives is a must. Go out often, visit friends, invite some to dinner, play some games, relax, or spend quality time with your family. Go camping. Explore and visit stores you've never been to. Plan an activity for every night of the week. Commit to finishing a novel during any down time. OK, you can surf the Internet for limited times, but no DVDs and computer games!

View the week as an experiment to see what life was like before television. Turn it off for a week and see what happens! You can even challenge you family to come up a reward for not watching television.

Today we take TV watching for granted, but I know professional, very intelligent people that don't even own one, and others that have one but seldom watch it. These are highly motivated, talented individuals with diverse outside interests. For them, there is simply no time to waste watching the latest episode of Survivor. I also know parents who have a TV for every child. How many hours a week are their kids watching television, and what are they watching? What impact will TV have on their development into adulthood? Good questions for parents to consider.

Favorite TV Quotations:

"I wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence. There's a knob called brightness, but that doesn't work". -Author Unknown

"I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the
other room and read a book". -Groucho Marx

"Television: chewing gum for the eyes". -Frank Lloyd Wright
About the Author
Dave Elger is a well respected authority within the running community having written hundreds of articles on the topics of running and wellness. You can contact him http://www.daveelger.com. He also supports the Okinawa Running Club
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