I’ve considered proposing that CCFC choose the date for Screen-Free Week based on the Comedy Central duo’s vacation schedules, but something tells me that won’t fly. The flurry of thoughts that came to mind when I started visualizing my week went something like this: “Can I watch online episodes of the Colbert Report and the Daily Show that I miss? Will they be as enjoyable a week later? Does it defeat the purpose of going screen-free for a week if I just double up on my screen time the next?” Even though I only catch these favorite shows of mine a few times a week, this planning process helped me realize how much I enjoy—and even depend on—my favorite television satirists.
I think that’s one of the really wonderful things about Screen-Free Week: it challenges us to think about and evaluate the media we consume. Preparing for the week has helped me weed out the programs I really love from the ones I watch just because. Turning off House Hunters? Who cares. Scrubs? Seen every episode, no problem. Seinfeld? Seen every episode thrice—wait, why do I keep watching them over and over? Determining which media content I’ll truly miss has shown me that most of the screen-based entertainment I consume I could easily do without…except those hilarious news shows I’ll miss so.
What if after Screen-Free Week the only time I spent watching TV was on the Colbert Report and the Daily Show a few times a week? I think it’s doable and that it would be screen time well spent. As for my current screen diet, it’s not the healthiest. I hope next week’s digital detox flushes away some of my media toxins so I can enjoy the full flavor of the good stuff.