This question was posed at a recent screening that I attended of the fascinating Ground Productions documentary, Play Again by filmmaker Tonje Schei. This film follows several teenagers as they are removed from a life of television, video games and cell phones and are presented with the opportunity to rediscover nature.
Teens spend 5 months of the year in front of screens.
Children recognize more corporate logos than they do common plants in their own backyard.
Increased screen time directly correlates with a detachment from reality. The interests of children have shifted from playing tag, building forts and climbing trees to playing video games, watching television and texting on their cell phones.
If everyone on the planet lived like the average American, we would need five planets to sustain us.
The over-consumption of resources is frightening. We need to teach our children and future generations about the irreplaceable value of our beautiful planet.
The current generation is at risk of dying earlier than their parents.
Children are losing the ability to recognize emotions from facial expressions.
Individualized and original play in children is being lost to reenactments of activities seen in movies, television and video games.
Environmental degradation is directly related to our detachment from nature.
One of the most profound messages I received from this documentary was; Television and video games tells us that we are the centre of everything but nature teaches us that we’re a very small part of something that’s larger. A respect and reverence for the natural beauty that surrounds us is real, it’s thought-provoking and inspiring. Without it, what are we?
So, now I ask you and I ask myself… how long could you go without screen time? This week I hope to answer that question. Other than needing to electronically submit my time sheet to my boss, I will be disconnecting…. No screen time. No computer. No television. No video games. No cell phone. I will do this starting tomorrow (Monday) for a week (maximum) and will report back to you on how I did.
For more information on the Play Again documentary, please visit the official website: