Even the University College London experts who led the study on screen time are reluctant to issue guidelines on where to set the threshold. Setting daily limits, they say, is “not the right focus”. Instead parents should be thinking: “Are you getting enough sleep, enough exercise, are you spending enough time with your family?”
All the hand-wringing also seems to miss another important dimension to the debate: limiting screen time assumes a certain degree of economic stability and social capital in the households that enforce the rules. For single parents who cannot afford childcare, for families isolated from friends or support networks, for children and adolescents caught in the middle of domestic dramas, and for women stifled by oppressive relationships or parents, screens are a boon. They are a window on to the outside world...Screens can liberate. They can, as books did for me, give blessed relief in a world where there is a poverty of leisure options.
Mostly curious to hear what other people think about screen time in general - This article is fine, but I'm hoping it can be the spark for a more substantive discussion. What do you guys think? Do we spend too much time with our screens? Do our children? What's your take?
As a sidenote, I had a tough time finding articles that don't argue screens are satanic tablets hellbent on killing children, so I apologize if you don't like the one that I picked. If you think it's shit, please share a better one with me!
Until I see something refuting the studies that show screen time strongly linked to increased levels of depression and anxiety in children/teenagers, and also decreased attention span, I'll continue to be concerned. As far as I know the same link hasn't been shown for books. One could argue that kids who are already depressed/anxious just look at screens more, but that doesn't explain the massive increase of both in kids and teenagers over the past decade.