Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blogging during TV Turn-off week

In response to a post earlier in the week, "ALT" asks whether I should be blogging and whether blog readers should be reading during TV Turn-off Week, which includes being "screen free."

Good question.

Since the computer replaced the typewriter, which replaced the pen, the keyboard/screen has become the dominant writing/publishing tool. So what I am doing, as I gaze at this screen, is writing.

This is not Writing/publishing-Turn-off Week. Nor should it be Reading-Turn-off Week.

The problem isn't screens per se. It's how we use them, and, yes, how MUCH we use them. If I had been fixated on this screen all day, I might have a problem, although many jobs are "screen-centered."

Cut out screens for a week and you lose your job.

My former livelihood as a journalist was screen-dependent, but no longer, ever since I became semi-retired. Still, the screen has its allure. I've taken steps to control my use of it.

Literally steps.

Since starting the 10,000-steps program recently, I've extracted myself from my screen-perch. My pedometer calls me the way the computer once did. The little step-counter clipped to my belt tells me that I'm actually averaging 12,000 steps or six miles of walking a day.

I have no idea whether I could do that after an eight-hour, five-days-a-week job, but it seems entirely possible. I find that with normal walking and then a planned one-hour walk (early in the morning, at lunch, in the evening), I can hit my 10,000-steps goal. Where to find that one hour?

That's where TV-Turnoff comes in — not just this week but every week.

(Sodden after-thought: you can have it ALL — if you insist — by buying a treadmill and putting a TV in front of it.)

As for writing, researching and staying informed, I'll keep using this little tool they call a computer.

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