Is computer use worse than TV time? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have a TV. Well, I do but it lives in the closet and doesn't come out unless there are red sox playoff games on regular tv.

Anyway, I spend the same amount of time on the computer that I used to spend watching tv (too much). And sometimes I feel like the tv was almost better because I could be in the other room and just listen to some program, or get up during commercials and do something. And the TV could not go to bed with me like the lap top sometimes does.

But when I'm being lazy on the laptop there are no commercials to make me get up (unless you could MDC server crashes as a commercial), there is no "end" to a program, and since it's all visual I can't be in the other room listening to someone read me a blog or emails.

Are other people finding that they killed the TV but replaced it with something worse?
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#2 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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i do, totally. i gotta turn it off.

mountain loving, nursing, homebirthing mama to beany (12.05), zoomy (4.09), and one more in january.
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#3 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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For Dh and I, computer is not as bad as TV. We don't seem to be as sucked into the computer.

But, we could definitely spend less time on the computer!

NAK
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#4 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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My name is Naomi and I'm a computer addict (or maybe just a mothering addict ).

I really don't like the TV because it feels passive to me, but I tell myself the computer is more interactive

Naomi, mama to Faith (12/03) and Hannah (12/06) and Kai, a homebirth.jpg waterbirth.jpg on 5/15/10
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#5 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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No- the computer for me:

1.) Is something I can walk away from... If I leave it, all the same stuff is there when I get back so I don't miss anything.

2.) Is a way to relax, but is still active. You have to choose where you go, read, think, etc. You can't "zone" in front of the computer.

3.) Is a connection to others. Without TV, it's not too easy to get the news or other more specific information or entertainment. With the computer, we can talk, look things up, email family and friends, learn, etc.

4.) I belive that we are all entitled to some "down time" where we don't have to feel bad if we are not reading "War and Peace" or stuffing envelopes for our volunteer time or whatever. I even don't think TV is inherently evil for this, the problem is it is addictive and the 1/2 hour of "fluff" turns into 3 hours of vegitation. A little computer surfing is OK.
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#6 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Yes, definitely, I replaced TV with the computer. I find that it is "worse" in the ways you mentioned, but it gives back more than tv-watching does. It is absolutely a time-suck for me, though, and I think on the whole I would be better off going "computer-free", at least for a time.

Hey! Maybe we need a "computer-free" forum! Er... wait a minute....
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#7 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom View Post
Yes, definitely, I replaced TV with the computer. I find that it is "worse" in the ways you mentioned, but it gives back more than tv-watching does. It is absolutely a time-suck for me, though, and I think on the whole I would be better off going "computer-free", at least for a time.

Hey! Maybe we need a "computer-free" forum! Er... wait a minute....
yeah...exactly.

But I was just out walking in the woods for a hour, so I won't fret about a little computer time.
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#8 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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For me the computer is way worse than tv, I have never been a big tv person, but the computer.. my goodness I am an addict. More later but its pretty bad and doesn't help that my work (freelance grant-writer/consultant) requires me to be online a lot.

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#9 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
No- the computer for me:

1.) Is something I can walk away from... If I leave it, all the same stuff is there when I get back so I don't miss anything.

2.) Is a way to relax, but is still active. You have to choose where you go, read, think, etc. You can't "zone" in front of the computer.

3.) Is a connection to others. Without TV, it's not too easy to get the news or other more specific information or entertainment. With the computer, we can talk, look things up, email family and friends, learn, etc.

4.) I belive that we are all entitled to some "down time" where we don't have to feel bad if we are not reading "War and Peace" or stuffing envelopes for our volunteer time or whatever. I even don't think TV is inherently evil for this, the problem is it is addictive and the 1/2 hour of "fluff" turns into 3 hours of vegitation. A little computer surfing is OK.

See for me, the computer turns into 3 hours of vegging.. tv, after a few minutes I fall asleep, but I literally can stay online all day. :

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#10 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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For me, yes. I need to get off the computer more. I feel so good when I limit it and do something else in my "free" time.

Although dd's just think I read and write on the computer and really don't see it all that often, so in that sense the computer is much better then TV for dds.
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#11 of 28 Old 04-15-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
See for me, the computer turns into 3 hours of vegging.. tv, after a few minutes I fall asleep, but I literally can stay online all day. :
Same for me. And I've been taking the computer to bed with me. Which I really don't want to do, because I don't think it's good for me. But I keep doing it. I have a lot of trouble with self regulation. And since I use the computer for work, I'm on it all day and need to check my emails, etc. so I can't just leave it at work.

What I need is a program, that I am unable to override, that will shut it down every 1/2 hour in the evenings and say "go do something else" and will then shut it down at 9:30 pm and say "go to bed".

And I imagine for you, being a mod, you have built in excuse for "having" to be online "well, I'd better stay on a little longer in case I'm needed."
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#12 of 28 Old 04-16-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
And I imagine for you, being a mod, you have built in excuse for "having" to be online "well, I'd better stay on a little longer in case I'm needed."
Oh gods, how did you know??

It can definitely be a timesuck. And it has similar effects as TV for me (I get headaches with too much screen time), and I do think it could qualify as a minor addiction. But it's not as bad as TV, because it is my "job", and my social outlet (I met all my local friends through MDC), and my intellectual stimulation. It's not without its own issues, and its own addictive qualities (OK I'm almost done - but wait, this thread I'm subbed to just got a new post. oh, and now I have a PM asking me to handle this issue, but it's taking a while to load, I'll just go check this other forum while I'm waiting, hey look I want to reply to that, and... ), but no, not worse than TV.


And speaking of, I'm going to post this and NOT go check my UserCP before I shut the 'puter and go do the dinner stuff DP asked me to do five minutes ago that he can't since he's wearing a sleeping baby...
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#13 of 28 Old 04-16-2008, 04:13 AM
 
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In the last several months, I've become acutely aware of how the internet, for me, plays the same role that TV plays for many others - and I don't like it, despite how many justifications I have for why computers are better. I'm planning to give up all screen time (aka the computer) for the tv turn off week that's coming up, and re-evaluate how I want to use the computer in my life from then on. We'll see how it goes.
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#14 of 28 Old 04-16-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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Oh, I could definately spend more time in front of the computer than the tv, so for me it is worse.
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#15 of 28 Old 04-16-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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For me, it's exactly what alexsam said. In front of a computer, I am active, whereas in front of a TV, I am a veggie.

With a TV I don't learn anything, even with the most interesting programs, I can't remember a thing afterwards. That passive learning mode doesn't work for me...
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#16 of 28 Old 04-16-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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Coincidentally, I read a blog : yesterday about computer addiction with some tips on how to self-regulate your usage. I like her idea about using different browsers for different things (fun v. work)

Julie - Wife to Louis, Mamma to Ben (11/06) and 2
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#17 of 28 Old 04-16-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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MAJOR computer addict here :
Yea, some of it is useful and important but really its just too, too much.
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#18 of 28 Old 04-16-2008, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did a few new things today:

Before I went walking this morning, I shut down the computer and put it in my work bag. That way, I couldn't "check a few things" while I got ready. I found that I stayed outside exercising longer, and I was able to get ready for work faster.

Then, when I got to work, I didn't immediately turn it on. I checked my phone messages, returned calls, completed some work - all without the computer. I did this for about an hour, and then turned it on. I noticed an immediate drop in my productivity at first as I had to "catch up" on emails, Perez Hilton Gossip and other vital things. I'm going to try to stretch the non-computer morning time, as I think that will be a good way to get more done.
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#19 of 28 Old 04-24-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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Fundamentally no, because computer use is active (unless you're watching videos...) and TV use is passive. But the computer can be as much of a time waste and brain sucker as TV.
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#20 of 28 Old 05-04-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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I've never had cable in my adult life, and only occasionally rent DVDs. I love my computer time . I find that the computer is a tool that can be used for good or evil .

On the plus side, it's a source of information that is critical for my parenting and paid jobs. It's also a very important source of networking - it's the way that I've met so many incredible MDC and homeschooling families. Sometimes it meets a social need for me, when I can "chat" with other parents after my kids go to bed after spending a lonely day with no other adults to talk to - yes, it's a surrogate, but it's better than nothing. It's also a source of self-expression - I really enjoy putting my thoughts into words and sharing them with others. Rather than writing a journal for my own use only, I am bouncing ideas off others and getting their responses - I find this a creative and intellectually stimulating process. It's funny how people think of Victorian letter-writing in such a nostalgic way...I write "letters" on the computer all the time - the tools are different but connecting through the written word is the same.

On the minus side, "chatting" on MDC or "researching" things to death can definitely be an avoidance mechanism for me. I want to keep my computer time in balance with my IRL activities. For example, it's so much easier to hang out in the decluttering and simplifying forum than it is to actually declutter some chaotic corner of my home .

My kids don't have access to the computer at all. It's not at all clear to me what a good age for introducing the computer would be .

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"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
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#21 of 28 Old 05-05-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom View Post

Hey! Maybe we need a "computer-free" forum! Er... wait a minute....
Ha ha, I thought this was sooo funny!

For me, the computer is way worse than t.v. I have been a t.v. watcher but the computer sucks up a lot of my time. I really have a hard time balancing it with the rest of my life.
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#22 of 28 Old 05-05-2008, 12:29 PM
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I have been a t.v. watcher but the computer sucks up a lot of my time. I really have a hard time balancing it with the rest of my life.
same with me, sadly. it seems like my computer time has just replaced my tv time.

Sandi- firmly attached mama to DS (Feb/08) cautiously expecting #2 09/10
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#23 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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First of all, hi mamas, I'm Amy and this is my first time posting in the TV free forum (just found it thru someone's siggy), and I am a computer addict.

In the interest of peeling myself off MDC sometime before midnight, I will just multi-quote things other people already said that I totally agree with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom View Post
Yes, definitely, I replaced TV with the computer. I find that it is "worse" in the ways you mentioned, but it gives back more than tv-watching does. It is absolutely a time-suck for me, though, and I think on the whole I would be better off going "computer-free", at least for a time.

Hey! Maybe we need a "computer-free" forum! Er... wait a minute....
: and

Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
What I need is a program, that I am unable to override, that will shut it down every 1/2 hour in the evenings and say "go do something else" and will then shut it down at 9:30 pm and say "go to bed".
Do you use a wireless router? In the setup for them, you can do that, and you could have someone else in your house be the password keeper so you can't override it.

Me, I make myself do my daily chores (i.e. Wednesday ~ clean baby's room & do her laundry) before I turn on the computer. Then I sometimes I get nothing else done until it's time to start making supper :
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#24 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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Yeah, computer has replaced the TV for me. We are not TV free but I watch very little TV. I could be on the computer all day long. I do think I learn more and am far more productive on the computer, so perhaps it's slightly better than the TV for me.
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#25 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 01:58 AM
 
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I'd say that the computer has replaced the TV for me as well. It is definitely addictive for me. What's worse is that I'm in one room on my computer upstairs, and my husband is downstairs on his computer. With the TV, at least we used to watch together, cuddle on the couch, and talk about what we were watching. I feel our computer use has affected our relationship. Every evening we're both on our computer for hours (well, I was before the baby arrived 2 months ago!).

I think a lot about the Jane Healy books, "Failure to Connect" and "Endangered Minds" and how her research suggested that kids should not become too involved with computers until the age of 9 (I'm pretty sure that was the age she suggested). Yet what kind of behavior are we modeling for our kids? My 3.5 year old daughter sees DH and I running to the computer all day long, and she of course wants to do what we do. I am sure she will be computer addicted as well -- but of course, so will her entire generation. I don't see how we will possibly hold out until she is 9. Right now she watches some short videos on the computer. She has no idea that there are games that can be played. But in a year or so she is quite likely to have figured that out.

I really need to practice turning the computer off for a period of time! Like weekends! Time to go to bed (and get off the computer!).
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#26 of 28 Old 05-09-2008, 01:04 AM
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I'm also an addict. I actually came to this forum to start this exact thread. I can veg out in front of a computer for MUCH longer than the TV. The TV bores me, the internet has endless chances for blog reading and forum posting! But what to do about it? There is no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that my DH will agree to giving up our high speed internet connection. I'm worried that, once my new baby comes, I'm going to do nothing but nurse and surf the internet all day. I think I'm going to have to physically turn off my computer, instead of just letting it sit in sleep mode all the time!

Me, a husband, a social butterfly 2008, and a cheeky monkey 2011

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#27 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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We are extremely TV limited in our house. DH doesn't watch any TV, and I watch 1 hour a week, but only when new episodes are on. And we both have major internet addiction. In some ways, I frequently think that it would be better to be addicted to TV than to internet because then at least it would be something we could do together. And we could mute commercials and talk about whatever it is we're watching. But with internet, one of us gets buried in the laptop while the other one sits around waiting for their turn. But in all that, we're not actually spending the time together. It used to be worse b/c we used to have a desk top and a laptop. I would be in the office on the desktop and he would be in the living room on the laptop. And we would actually go into the same chat room to talk to each other. : So I got rid of the desk top, and now we just argue over who's turn it is on the laptop Good grief.

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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#28 of 28 Old 05-15-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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I was a major TV addict before we got rid of it. I am an internet addict, too! Thankfully, my dh takes the laptop with him to work during the day so I don't get online til he gets home at night. But then I stay up waaaay past my bedtime because I can't seem to close the computer. When dh leaves with the computer in the morning I go into withdrawls. But it's good for me because we have no TV and no internet during the day-just me and the kids.

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