Watching, Browsing and Surfing with Intention

January 9, 2015 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Welcome to 2015. I started out this year a little differently than most. I didn’t make resolutions for myself or my family like I usually do. I am not going to “lose 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day,” nor am I instituting “family game night” every Sunday. Not that those aren’t admirable goals. But this year, I am trying something different: I am going to be more intentional. In particular, I am going to be more intentional with regard to my use of technology.

Like many of you, my childhood television viewing habits consisted of turning on the television after dinner and watching something until bedtime. Maybe there was a show I really wanted to see, but more likely I would simply watch whatever came on, one show after the next. As a kid, I never even considered turning off the television when the program I wanted to watch was over. Unfortunately, that practice follows many of us into adulthood. But now, as a parent and in my job as the Early Learning Services Manager for WPT, it is intentional television viewing that I practice and preach.

As you may have guessed, my family and I are big fans of public television. Each month, we sit down with our Airwaves program guide (mailed free to members!) and choose the programs we want to watch. I actually put them on our calendar. When that night arrives, we make our popcorn and head to the television. We watch our show and then…wait for it…turn the television off. You read that correctly. We choose the programs we want to watch, we watch them and then we turn the television off. We view television with intention.

Regrettably, this habit has not made it to the rest of my technological life. Therefore, it is my goal in 2015 to extend it to my computer and iPad as well. What exactly does this mean? It means no longer searching for a rainy day craft project for my daughter and ending up waist deep in wedding cake topper ideas on Pinterest. It means not getting sucked into taking one Facebook quiz which leads to the next and the next and looking up blurry-eyed an hour later wondering why my coffee is cold. It does mean I will consume my media intentionally; I will choose what I want to see, not just take whatever is put in front of me. Will this be a challenge? Yes. Will I sometimes get distracted by the cute animal videos and celebrity gossip? Yes. But I am going to try it and I encourage you to try it as well. I will keep you posted!


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