Graphic by Kevin Hand, Star-Bulletin

What's Off TV?

Star-Bulletin staff

Erik-Phuong Le

As part of the annual National TV-Turnoff Week, April 24 through 30, Erik-Phuong Le agreed to skip his daily tube feeding for four days and write about it for KO!

Erik usually watches about 25 hours of TV a week. The 11-year-old 5th grader at Lincoln Elementary School kept the following journal of his non-TV activities up until Sunday at 5:45 p.m., when he renewed his video habits.

Day 1, April 24, Wednesday

I noticed that it is very irritating without TV, especially when your sister is teasing you - that is, watching TV in the morning. But of course, I think I'll make it. Also, when I'm eating now I have to turn my back from the TV.

During the night I just worked on my models, a jet and spaceship. While I was working on my models I was thinking of TV. Also in reality, I would have watched TV instead of building my models, but when there's nothing to watch on TV I work on my models anyway.

Day 2, April 25, Thursday

Today it was much easier not to watch TV because we ate dinner out at a Chinese Restaurant.

Day 3, April 26, Friday

When I got home (from school) I didn't bother to do my homework because I had none, but I did start to work on my models.

I was very anxious to watch TV because it was only two days away until I could watch TV again. I kind of regretted that I volunteered to not watch TV.

Day 4, April 27, Saturday

As soon as I got up I tried to go straight out the door. Why? Because since it is a weekend and I can't watch TV I guess I'll just go the mall and hang with my friends or something like that.

When I went to the mall instead of watching a movie or TV, I went to the book shop, toy store and music store. After that my friends and I went to my house and swam in the pool. My friends Jonah, Charles and Taylor kind of felt sorry for me (about not being able to watch television) but we didn't worry about that. We just went straight to the pool.

(Eric said he went to bed early Saturday, partly because he was bored without TV, and partly because he was tired from swimming and the day's activities.)

Day 5, April 28, Sunday

It was fun to try not watching TV but it's frustrating doing it daily. The TV is right there but you can't turn it on and that gets irritating. Also, I would say I will try to cut down on my TV watching time.

The reason I volunteered was because I thought it would be fun. What I got out of it was, I guess I wasn't as lazy and I had more energy.

Without watching TV you would have better health. In front of the TV there's radiation. If you go outside you get fresh air and exercise.

Not watching TV would help you with schoolwork because you rush to do your homework when you know a show's on.

AFTER his tube-less four days, Erik has decided he watches too much TV. With his normal TV viewing schedule, "I didn't get out as much as I did in the past few days."

He plans to cut his TV time to 18 hours a week. Rather than just watch what's on, he will "watch certain shows - the ones I really like," such as "Step by Step" and "The Simpsons."

Erik plans to fill the extra seven hours a week playing basketball at the park.

He said his friends felt sorry for him, missing TV and not being able to discuss what happened on the crowd's fave series the next day. Not one thought it would be good to join Erik in his Turnoff, but Erik thinks they ought to give it a try.

"TV is pretty much both good and bad," Erik concluded. "It's good in the sense it's the easy way to learn things like on the Discovery Channel. It's bad because you're cheating - like instead of reading the book your teacher wants you to read you watch TV."

Watching TV, "You can become a couch potato and become real fat." Erik said. "You should get outdoors (rather) than watch TV."

KO! stuff by Kevin Hand, Bryant Fukutomi, Marilyn Ige and 222 toucans.

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