RE: TV Turn-Off

HIRSCH Bonnie C (
Wed, 27 Jan 1999 09:28:29 -0800 (PST)

I sent some of this discussion to our youth librarians, since our library
does a TV turn-off program every year. Here is the response from the section
head (along with the comments I sent them) I might also mention that the
quality of TV programs available to us in Eugene may be lower than in larger
cities. Also, that there are many quality programs available on video (and
in our library) which never show up in TV programming here. :

I don't think of this as being about "critical thinking" but about how one
spends one's time. I think to date that more individuals of all ages still
waste the lions share of their free time being "entertained" by the boob
tube than by playing computer games. It would be a subset i guess. Just
check the Statistical Abstract for number of television sets per household.
I want TV Turnoff Week to be more about liberating ones time and expanding
ones horizons about what there is to do with their time. If they get better
grades or become smarter or a more critical thinker so much the better but
really just having a richer, fuller, less circumscribed life is the real
reward whether it ever adds an IQ point or a penny to your coffers. My
response to the person scoffing at people who perceive media as some sort of
anti-christ is , would that it were, at least then it would be more
interesting. It looks and feels to me more like a vacuum. There is no
there, there. Our users may have been rewired, but where is the light bulb?
From: HIRSCH Bonnie C
To: *Library Youth & Ext Services
Subject: FW: Fwd: Video discrimination
Date: Tuesday, January 26, 1999 8:52AM

There has been quite a discussion on the media list about "turn off TV
week." I'll spare you most of it, but some of the points have been that
computer games are using more time than TV in some households; anti-TV
campaigns are like having an anti-church week because some cults are bad;
and , as mentioned below, we should focus more on teaching critical
thinking and considered evalution of all media and time uses.


Bonnie Hirsch
Eugene (Oregon) Public Library