Make Stuff Week 2012 – April 30 – May 6

I spent almost all day Sunday outside. Test driving the new BBQ coffee roasting drum, brewing up a batch of sour ale, taking the littlest one for a stroller ride, then tricycle ride, then walk around the block, read 3 chapters in an actual paper book!

And today is the beginning of Screen Free Week 2012

Going screen-free a notion I’ve struggled with since the on-set of the Opt Out project. TV-like media is much more omnipresent than it was even 5 years ago. These days, TV sometimes looks like Ze Frank and sometimes looks like Angry Birds. It sometimes looks like Pandora, Facebook, and sometimes when it’s being especially sneaky – it looks a lot like email.

The history of Screen Free Week shows this struggle – while it started as TV-Turnoff week, it’s now much more inclusive of all the different places we have mindless, disposable, un-enriching, entertainment. Unfortunately, the abstraction (’screen’) makes it that much more difficult to explain than ‘Hey No TV this week’.

Just check out the half-a-dozen rules the Lasso the Moon family identified to describe their Screen free week:

  • No TV all week, even after the kids are in bed
  • Instead of our Weekly Movie Night we will be doing Family Game Night
  • Computer and internet use is acceptable at work & school {winks}
  • I am not allowed to play on my social networks, but I am able to take 15 minutes each morning to share my pre-scheduled blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest
  • Shad is not allowed to play WordFued, but he is allowed 15 minutes of web access to check stats and make fantasy baseball trades
  • The girls are allowed to yell at me if they see me using my iPhone for anything beyond making a phone call

Hell, why don’t we just say ‘No Pre-Recorded Media Week’?

I could even get behind ‘Opt-out Week’ if I thought it was right. I don’t. It’s never good to focus on the negative. The focus needs to be a positive, constructive, addictive behavior. Something that won’t make the deliciousness of screentime be even tastier after the fast.

I propose: Make Stuff Week

It has but one simple, clear goal:
Everyday create something with your hands & mind, include your entire family.

For my part – I’ll be deliberately, mindfully, writing Opt-Out.