It's been more than 3 years since the Screen Free Project was created. We were uncomfortable that the increase in screen usage among our youth was going seemingly unnoticed - particularly the detrimental effects. We'd hoped we could help raise awareness organically by creating a hub of insights; overseas reports, articles, guidelines etc to help individuals acquire an informed opinion.
What has changed since we started? We've observed wider reporting on the subject in NZ media, seldom is it out of the headlines. Ministry of Health have updated their guidelines. Many individuals have contacted us to share positive change in their lives and there is a growing acknowledgement of the seriousness addictive nature of excessive screen usage.
Meanwhile as founders, our interests have waned. While we work in digital as a profession, we no longer want to spend any more time online than necessary, eg: the time required to update the website, manage social and liaise with media.
We therefore intend to take the website down in 3 months and close the Facebook group. If anyone feels passionate enough to want to continue our works and wishes to take over either for free (own hosting required) please make contact. ---- Julie & Jel
'Screen Free' is about spending more time offline in the real world. It is about balance. We are on a mission.
The Screen Free Project has been raising awareness since 2013. With the influx of computer, mobile phones, tablets, gaming, television and social media's ever-growing accessibility and connectivity, more and more leisure time is spent in front of a screen. Our mission? To support those parents wanting to bravely tackle the often tricky world of balance. We offer some friendly tips, screen-free ideas, research findings and a snap shot of concerns others have, and wins too!
We understand that electronic devices are a valuable part of modern living. Our concern is simply the disproportionate use in many families’ lives, particularly Kiwi kids.
If you've identified that there may be an imbalance of screen vs non-screen time in your household, you are not alone. While we don't hold a magic wand, often it's as easy as reconnecting with the 'off button' and leading by example: finding interests, hands-on hobbies and activities, exploring, and seeing where those creativity juices lead. We appreciate for some families, it isn't quite that simple.
The detriments of excessive screen time for kids have been identified as a growing global issue and we wanted to address it in NZ. Not only are there health and social issues, there is also the growing absence of hands-on skill, creativity and ‘real world’ play being experienced by youth.
The Screen Free Project welcomes support from organisations and individuals to help to build a network to address the imbalance of screen time play vs ‘offline play’ for NZ children – and positively offer a barrage of fun, family-friendly alternatives instead.
We are delighted to see the green shoots of an uptake at 'grass roots' level.
PROJECT WILD THING, via FACEBOOK: Thank you for your lovely words. Hope you guys can create a force for good in NZ, as we are doing over here in the UK!
CLAIRE, via FACEBOOK: Fantastic hearing your experiences!
TRACEYLEE, via FACEBOOK — “I have a 6 yr old and almost 2 yr old. We did a screen free week about a month ago and it brought such incredible peace and harmony to our busy home that we decided to continue. It’s been beyond amazing. Our 6 yr old’s teacher asked if anything had changed at hm as he is so much more engaged at school, his concentration has improved and he seemed to be much calmer. Our 2 yr old has discovered the joys of mud and joined in with her brothers imaginative play. It’s amazing. Both kids used to play on an iPad for at least an hour a day. Sibling arguments have ceased since I took it away. We’ll be a screen free family for some time I think.” ...Read more