A generation ago, “screen time” and “TV time” were virtually synonymous. Ability to influence what you or your family could view meant turning the set on or off, writing letters to your Congressional representative, or popping in a videocassette for a couple hours’ worth of tape.
Not so today, when even non-cable television viewers can access over a hundred channels; when DVDs and downloads offer you any episode from any series; when a video on any topic is a Google search away. And when screen-time options are no longer limited to the passive, but include real-time conversations, complicated role-playing games, and opportunities to toss off one’s two cents’ worth of opinion on a dime.
It’s a positive development in many ways—especially when one needs human interaction and the in-person options are limited—but it also has its dark side. Unscrupulous contacts asking for money. Biased assertions and unqualified “experts” who can sound as plausible as sources with legitimate credentials. And—closer to home for the average parent—kids getting lost in the digital world when the three-dimensional one needs their attention.
Signs That Someone Is Overdoing Digital Participation
The children (or adults) in your household may be getting dangerously “lost” in active screen time if they:
Whether or not any of the above are current problems in your household, beware of ordinary screen time insidiously creeping into screen addiction.
What to Do About It
Here are some practical tips for keeping active screen time in its proper place.
KEEPING KIDS ACTIVE IN THE THREE-DIMENSIONAL WORLD
We at Shady Oak Primary are firm believers in active learning: working with children’s natural curiosity, having everyone participate, experimenting through active play and outdoor learning. If you’re looking for a school that understands better ways to educate than lectures and video, contact us today for a briefing on our approach.
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!