UNPLUGGING THE PLUG-IN DRUG by Marie Winn

UNPLUGGING THE PLUG-IN DRUG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A simplistic notion that could have been delineated in an article: turn the TV off for a week or two and ""you might learn to control it more effectively."" In The Plug-In Drug (1976), Winn argued that television viewing is an opiate for children and detrimental to their development, regardless of content. In 1977 and 1985 she organized ""No-TV"" weeks in two N.Y.C. schools. Here, she develops detailed plans whereby the boob tube can be stifled for a day, a week, even two weeks in individual families, in the homes of a school's student body--even throughout an entire community! As Winn sees it, these modest accomplishments require logistical planning and execution approaching that of a NASA space launch. Several chapters are devoted to how a family can ""set the date,"" ""sell the turnoff"" to the kids, establish a ""binding contract,"" ""develop a battle plan,"" and so forth. Things are even more complicated with group endeavors, which call for ""No-TV"" buttons, participants' ""diaries,"" and kick-off ceremonies. What does all this accomplish? The ""diaries"" show that kids find it hard, sometimes hate it, but sometimes do homework sooner, read more books, and enjoy more activities with their parents. This book's appearance is timed to coincide with a ""No-TV"" November,"" a Penguin brainchild that has already caught the fancy of a number of schools and libraries. Are there any long-term effects, after the television is switched on again? Presumably, we must await another over-padded tome.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1987
Publisher: Viking