April 21, 2005 2:07 PM PDT
Can your family go a week without computers?
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Modeled after TV-Turnoff Week, PC-Turnoff Week runs Aug. 1 through Aug. 7 and is meant to raise awareness of the hazards of excessive computer use in the home.
Child-health experts are increasingly pointing to computers, along with televisions, as the culprits behind a national obesity epidemic among children. They also worry about the effect long hours at the computer may have on kids' social skills, grades and general well-being.
"There really need to be some limits set," said Joe Acunzo, co-founder of the PC-Turnoff Organization, the group behind the event, and father of a teenage "instant-messaging addict."
So far, National PC-Turnoff Week lacks the resources and visibility of its television counterpart, the 11th annual incarnation of which starts Monday. National TV-Turnoff Week also calls for families to abstain from video games and the Internet. Eight million people are expected to participate.
Acunzo intends to establish the PC-Turnoff Organization as a nonprofit and fund the effort with donations.
But there's a business tie-in too. Acunzo and his business partner, Mark Sicignano, have long careers as software developers and now sell a software program called ComputerTime that's designed to help parents limit children's computer use. The program is available for download through their Web site for $39.95.
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