Can I Do A “Media Fast”?

In an email from Youth Worker Journal there is a challenge to do  media fast.

Some stats from the Media-Fast website:jan09

  • Americans aged 13 – 18 spend more than 72 hours per week using electronic media?defined as the Internet, cell phones, television, music, and video games. Because teens are known for multitasking, their usage of devices often overlaps.
  • Virgin Mobile USA reports that more than half of their customers aged 15 to 20 sends or receives at least eleven text messages a day, while nearly a fifth text 21 times a day or more.
  • An estimated 75 percent of teens spend two or three hours a day downloading or listening to music online.
  • TV, movies, video games, and Internet use can have serious consequences for children’s health. From obesity and social isolation to early sexual initiation and aggressive and violent behavior, 15 new studies link exposure to media images with a broad range of negative health, behavioral, and lifestyle issues in children and teens.
  • Sixty-nine percent of kids ages six to 14 have TVs in their bedrooms.
  • Fifty-five percent of all online American teens use social networks and have posted a profile online. Forty-three percent say they have been contacted by a stranger online.
  • A multi-university study found that 10- to 19-year olds who played video games spent about 30 percent less time reading and 34 percent less time doing homework than non-players.
  • Fifty-five percent of teens say that electronic gadgets make a statement about who they are.
  • The most frequently cited reason that teens text message is to hang out with friends and relieve boredom. The most common topics are friends and gossip.
  • One study found that teens who used cell phones the most were more likely to be anxious and depressed.
  • By first grade, most children have spent the equivalent of three school years in front of the television.
    Am I ready to try it?

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