This post was not encouraged or endorsed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.
Devices with screens are relatively new in the last decade. Between cell phones, tablets, laptops and televisions there is an average of anywhere between 5-10 screens per household. Looking at our own home, we have 7, and if you count the Rookie’s leap-pad, there is 8. That is on top of the average 28 hours of TV an average person watches a week according to Nielsen.
It is good to know that we are average.
That number continues to grow and I see the disturbing trend only getting worse. I see it in myself and the Rookie.
The number of times that the Rookie is asking to watch something on our phones or play a game is flat out depressing. We have only contributed to his screen habit. In order to be able to shop in peace we hand him a screen so that we can talk and have a discussion about what we are purchasing, whether it is grocery shopping or furniture shopping. The last thing we want is a child who is bored out his mind and acting up.
This is something that has been ongoing and recently really started to annoy me. The number of times the Rookie has a temper tantrums is almost one-to-one when we tell him that we have to play outside before we can watch TV.
As the ongoing battle over screen supremacy in our house rages on, in comes an ad campaign that hit home. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City started using the term “Fearless” in their ads.
Living without fear, it is something that I am not really that good at. I am fearful of going to the doctor, of talking to someone on the phone, of jumping to decisions spontaneously without being fully informed, and public speaking. When I look at my life, there are a lot of things that I am fearful of.
There is one thing that I am not afraid of though. It’s the power button on any of my devices. I am not afraid to turn it off and play with the Rookie or have an actual conversation one-on-one with someone (despite not liking small talk). Don’t get me wrong, there are times that it might seem like you can’t take the phone out of my hands.
However, those times are becoming fewer and far between.
As I was driving home one day from work, there was billboard. That billboard has been on my commute home and probably seen by thousands of drivers a day. Normally, I wouldn’t have paid attention to it until I noticed that day that there was a child on it. That child, had a cape and was running in field. The caption on the billboard said something along the lines “Living Fearless means skipping morning cartoons”
Just the type of child that I want the Rookie to grow up to be. One who is living fearless and one who is willing to skip the TV.
I want the Rookie to be the type of kid who isn’t afraid to go out and run around with the neighbor kids, riding their bikes and ruling our neighborhood.
I want him to be that kid who wants to go outside and play catch with this dad or shoot some hoops in our driveway. I want him to be the fearless 4-year-old riding his bike around the block.
I might not be the best example of living fearless given my fear of so many things. One thing that I can pass onto my son though, is the fearlessness of being judged for not sitting in front of a screen all day.
Life is too short to spend sitting in front of a screen.