Thursday, September 17, 2015

Screen Addiction Taking a Toll

According to the New York Times and a study done in China screen addiction is taking a severe toll on Chinese teens. The study indicates that teens who grew up with excessive electronic screen time not only begin to see the real world as fake, but they are so addicted to virtual content such as games and apps., they often sit in front of a screen for so long they forgo sleep, food and even bathroom breaks.

Kaiser Family Foundation study in 2010 noted that the “The average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day with a variety of different media, and older children and teenagers spend more than 11 hours per day.” This number is staggering and applies to youth in the U.S. 

Just as I declared this isn't the case for my family, I remembered that my son uses a tablet in school. He not only uses it for class assignments, but in his after school program which could be 3 straight hours of usage. Then he comes home and I think nothing of his time on the iPad but could it be he's going on hour 8 of screen time?

Though the U.S. doesn't have an official "screen addiction" diagnosis in the medical field it's safe to say that advances in technology are leading to such issues in many American homes. TV was once the "babysitter" of children, and just as that proved less than ideal for child development, tablets and cellphones are the new time-waster for kids utilized by parents to "entertain" their children. I, for one, am 100% guilty of this.

I was recently on a 10-day vacation where we were without wi-fi mostly all day. This break was heaven sent. It led me to assess just how much my children asked for a screen or claimed to be bored. The truth of the matter is that screen time is increasingly prevalent in most homes. It's a sad substitute for fuller human interaction and can lead to issues in adulthood. China is seeing the impacts of this already, so parents must limit screen time whether we like it or not. This concept is nothing new, but the research is and that can't be ignored.

Do you agree with this Hermana?

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