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The Phoenix and the Phoenixville Area School District have teamed up to bring you The Purple Press, a blog created by the students of the Phoenixville Area School District!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The NO TV challenge: students try to break their addiction

By: Sam McMaster

TV is a big part of modern society, and let’s be honest, a lot of us enjoy it in excess. Regardless of your age, you probably have at least a couple shows that you cannot miss, and probably other shows that you like to watch too. Quite a lot of us suffer from television addiction, and there is nobody out there trying to stop it. Or is there? One teacher at this school decided that it was time to try and unglue the eyes of his class from the TV screen. That teacher is Mr. McColl; an English teacher here at PAHS. He created the “NO TV” competition as a challenge to his students. He said he wanted to “make students see how much time they were budgeting for other things for the sake of TV” He wanted to make his students realize how much of an influence television has on their lives.

The rules of the competition were simple: no television usage of any kind. The TV could not be used for shows, the news, movies or video games. If a student used the TV for anything at all, they were automatically out of the competition. And for students who are fans of, sorry but if it’s a television show, it makes no difference what they view it on. Since Mr. McColl could not monitor the students, he left it up to their sense of honor to tell him if they had broken down and turned the TV on. The game would end when only one student remained.

How did the students of Mr. McColl’s class react to the idea of no TV? In a word: negatively; most of the students were so hardwired to watch TV that by the end of the first weekend half the class was already out of the competition. After that massive drop, the remaining students slowly dropped off until only two remained. One, Jasmine Nicholson, finally broke down while out sick. The winner was Mike Robey, who successfully made it three weeks without television. How did he accomplish this? He said, “Whenever I found myself tempted to turn on the TV I just went outside. When I ran out of books to read, I went to the public library to read.”

The prize for the winner is a very appropriate twenty five dollar gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, so Mike can buy new books (since he read all the ones they had during the competition!) Now that Mike is able to watch TV again, you would think he would be glued to the TV box, but the opposite is actually true. Mike claimed, “Now that I can watch TV, I still don’t find myself watching that often because I’m used to not watching now.”

Perhaps we should take note from Mike and the other students of Mr. McColl’s class and turn off the TV a little more often. Try reading instead; it’s something that can be really entertaining and stimulates your brain. People have become so addicted to the TV and the computer that they forget sometimes that they can hang out and have fun with others. Never forget that there is a world outside that talking box, and it’s waiting for you to come out and enjoy it.


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