No Media for 24 Hours

This Saturday, September 25th, Nickelodeon goes dark for a day to encourage kids to go out and play!

(Hey, that rhymes. Will they play in the hay? How long will they stay? Until May? I digress.)

I love the idea. It reminds me of an early Simpsons episode where the power went out in Springfield. All the TV’s went dark in every household and we heard kids moan in disappointment. Then they slowly got up, opened the front door to their houses, stretched their arms, squinting in the light of the sun like someone who hasn’t seen light for weeks. Next scene we saw kids playing on playgrounds, climbing trees, making forts… Great scene.

Nick is trying to get kids to do much of this. Their Worldwide Day of Play website has all kinds of ideas of activities that kids can do for the day.

As much as I love Nick’s efforts, I don’t know how much of an impact they will make by themselves (this is their 7th year in a row doing this). I wish that they could get Cartoon Network, Disney, MTV and other channels kids frequent- all to own in on this (not that kids couldn’t just go play X-box).

Parents should use this as an opportunity to make this family-driven. Wouldn’t it be cool if families “shut off the power” and turned off all mobile devices for a day?

Last year our church had a 1 month media fast. I know… it sounds nuts. But it was truly amazing. We cut all entertainment media for 1 month. Families brought out old board games, went on walks, hikes… you name it. Our family moaned and whined the first week. But after the month was over, we talked about implementing the media fast as a regular event one day a week– Tuesdays. (It’s been pretty irregular- with homework and jobs, many nights have been without media lately).

Props to Nick!

RELATED ARTICLE: College blocks out Facebook for a week.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to No Media for 24 Hours

  1. Adam says:

    Wait a second, wasn’t it when Marge pretty much destroyed Itchy and Scratchy that everyone went outside?

    (yeah, it’s terrible the things I focus on and that catch my eye).

  2. Adam… you’re totally right. I forgot about that. It was the censorship episode… and Itchy and Scratchy were sitting on the porch saying, “You want some lemonade?” “You’re my best friend.” (hilarious!) Yes… so they went outside because TV had become lame!

    If only we lived in a world with only one good show.