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TV-free is quite a popular concept among a certain type of parents, who think that television harms the kids' brains and prevents them from discovering more important things. I first heard that not having a TV is a real thing in the attachment parenting movement on the web, on a moms' forum. But isn't the internet like a more dangerous TV? How would going internet free affect your family life?


I'm not suggesting that you actually get rid of your internet connection. Most of us use the web to work, keep in touch with family and friends, and keep up to date with the latest news. Those are all essential things that the web is wonderful for. The vast majority of constant internet users does waste a lot of time online, though.

We're often told that the average American kid spends many hours a day watching TV, but I'm very sure that the average American parent also spends many hours on the web when they could be connecting to their child, instead of Facebook. You've probably heard about that South Korean couple who spent so long on the computer looking after their virtual baby in an online game that their actual baby starved to death. Yes, that happened. Of course, most chronic internet users aren't crazy, but they still see the hours whizz past.


Try to cut all your non-essential internet use for at least a day. If you work online, for instance if you are a work at home mom, do what you have to and then switch off. If you keep in touch with people you need to speak to on Skype, do it and then make sure you don't open Twitter or whatever it is you do. Reading the news for a few minutes is probably justifiable, but if you're doing it for too long, you are missing out on time with your kid(s).

Once you've noticed how much time you save, get out some craft supplies, books, walking boots, or some other offline activity, and see how much fun you can have without the web. Be prepared to feel strangely liberated.

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