A volunteer’s view on Screen-Free Week

Hi there – my name is Kristen and I am the 2019 Screen-Free Week volunteer! It has been a pleasure getting to see all the wonderful events that you all have registered. I have been shocked at how widespread these events are. From Puerto Rico to India, these events are truly all around the world!

My interest in Screen-Free Week stemmed from my public health background and desire to care for others. My experience working with children strengthened my passions and has shown me the importance of spending meaningful, face-to-face time with others. It has been encouraging to see so many Screen-Free Week events and how people have used this time to be active together. Being a part of this event has not only been refreshing both physically and mentally, but encouraging as well. I have felt as though I am part of a supportive team working towards a goal.

A few weeks ago, I read an article about the difficulties a parent was facing in getting their child on board with limiting screen time and how they were working towards engaging in screen-free activities. This article stuck with me because, for many of us, this is a reality. I myself often find it difficult to engage in many screen-free activities. Screens are everywhere, our computers, phones, and even in our cars! With screens so present in my daily life, I have to remind myself to start small. I now realize adjusting my screen time is not something that will happen overnight. Limiting my screen time for any durable length of time is a habit I must create. Just like tying my shoes or fastening my seatbelt, I know to create this habit, it will take repetition and time.  

So, Screen-Free Week was my start. It was the start of my commitment to limit my screen time and move more – in fact, I signed up for my first triathlon and used the week to begin training! While my first week was tiring, it was great. It reminded me of my interests and the things I enjoy doing in the world outside of screens. All in all, I have discovered how encouraging Screen-Free Week is. It is a time to rediscover my interests and try something new! Thank you, Screen-Free Week, for encouraging me to rediscover interests and spend more time with the ones I love.

Kristen is Screen-Free Week’s volunteer. When she’s not volunteering with us, she works with Strong4Life, a wellness movement from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she helps coordinate various community, camp and provider programs.