Back to Book movement started with a gathering for a collaboration to balance gadget time for children. The gathering quickly developed into a discussion and then turned into a movement. We need to go back and start to introduce books to children again considering that gadget addiction is on the rise among children today, while parents are already used to providing gadget for their children since an early age for various reasons. Therefore, in the spirit of supporting parents to reintroduce books to their children and in an effort to reduce screen time, a Back to Book event was held.
The Back to Book event was a collaboration between Campaign.id, The Learningcastle, Taman Baca Inovator and Rumah Dongeng Pelangi. As literacy activists, we are concerned and want to better the situation, considering that UNICEF has recognized social media and gadget addiction as mental health condition. This event was our initial steps for a Back to Book movement directed to children and parents who want to spend their time reading together with their children.
Approximately 20 mothers and expecting mothers visited the event and learned about the struggle to parent children who have been using gadget from an early age, at around 2 years old. The key was to have the heart to be firm with children, because if their use of gadget is not limited, it could affect their brain development and maturity. We found out that this challenging situation only happens in big cities with rampant wifi and internet connections, where the parents also have the capital buy their children gadgets. The situation does not occur in the the villages where we have Taman Baca Inovator libraries. People in the area do not have wifi connection, and hence children are looking for books for entertainment. In turn, this increases the children’s reading ability since an early age and helps them develop a reading habit.
In conclusion, it is best to redevelop our next generation’s reading habit since their childhood. Let’s limit children’s screentime and gadget utilization. Let’s read storybooks to them and build positive relation with them since their early development.