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Turn Off The TV…If You Can

Imagine there’s no heaven, advised John Lennon. Now try picturing this mindblower: life without television.

Then live the fantasy. Turn off your television sets, all of them. Leave them off for an entire week. Seven boob tube-less days.

If you can muster up the will, you won’t be alone. An estimated 3 million people are expected to take part in National TV-Turnoff Week, which begins today.

The campaign is the brainchild of the nonprofit, nonpartisan TV-Free America, which last year convinced more than 1 million people to forgo their video addiction as part of the first National TV-Turnoff.

A second-grader in Donora, Pa., was among those who tried a TV-less week last year; TV-Free America shared his assessment. “I really didn’t like TV-Turnoff Week, except I did notice that my grades went up and I was in a good mood all week,” reported young Drew Henderson.

Smarter AND happier. So what has television done for you lately? Groups ranging from the American Medical Association to the American Literacy and Poetry Project are backing TV-Turnoff Week, as are governors of at least eight states, including Maine and New Mexico.

So what to do with our newfound time? TV-Free America offers a tidy list of 101 suggestions, everything from baking to visiting a nursing home to learning yoga to writing a letter to roller-skating to simply having a nice chat.