The use of screen time for children is highly controversial. Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest media time is no more than one to two hours a day for children over the age of two. Some experts, however, are saying that reducing the amount of screen time our children are watching is not sufficient. They are also arguing that media time shouldn’t be targeted only at the youngest children.
Navneet Alang, a clinical psychologist based in Rockville, Maryland, who has studied the relationship between technology and children, says too little focus is placed on teens, adults and even older children when it comes to media use. “I think when you’re thinking about teens and children, just as screen-time for them has skyrocketed, so has online bullying,” she says. “I would say there’s this suggestion that going back to doing things face-to-face is the only way to really be happy as opposed to sending texts and looking at a phone.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “All children and adolescents should be allowed to develop positive adult friendships online.” And yet, the data from numerous studies from Silicon Valley executives, analysts and parents has indicated that teens’ cyber-transgressions are not declining. YouGov commissioned a recent survey where it found that while social media usage had declined for adults, nearly 30 percent of teens are using social media “almost daily.”
Every Friday, Mr. Alang shares a truth about the way screen time has affected your life and shares the best advice about it.