While parents all across the nation struggle to pull their children off their iPads, iPhones, tablets and other electronic devices, tech experts have a little something to say about it: I’m sorry. There’s a new report that says many experts in the tech field feel guilty for creating a screen time epidemic for kids. That’s because today’s youth are spending more time playing on their devices at home than spending time with their friends outside, reading books, or running on playgrounds like they are supposed to.
According to Fatherly, many tech experts agree that they have created this problem and now they are sounding the alarm and warning parents and children of the dangers of screen time. Some are even comparing it to candy and crack cocaine addiction as many young kids spend endless hours playing Roblox and Fortnite on their devices. Some of the people who have helped develop today’s popular video programs are even horrified over how many different places a child can simply pick up their iPad and watch a video.
While there’s no doubt that there have been plenty of studies conducted that say screen time is linked to a host of health problems, the issue has gotten worse in recent years. Andrew Przybylski of the Oxford Internet Institute recently said: “There is little or no support for the theory that digital screen use, on its own, is bad for young children’s psychological well being.”
It goes without saying that parents are the ones that are most concerned, too. Another study reported that teens who spent more time on screens in the form of social media, internet, texting, and gaming thought about suicide a lot more than kids who didn’t. The rise in mental health issues among children and young teens are on the rise and yes, screen time is partly to blame, according to many tech experts and researchers.
So, what is a parent to do? First off, many health professionals agree that the longer you give a child a handheld device, the better off they will be. Also, limit your child’s screen use, set “screen free times” at home and of course, set a good example for your family. There’s a chance that if your children see you pick up a good book – rather than your phone – they will pick one up, too.