In 1977, Marie Winn first published The Plug-In Drug, a critique of television’s potentially negative effects on children and family: premature exposure to “mature” topics; neglect of healthy physical, mental, and social activities; even altered consciousness from passive content absorption.
Although “screen time” no longer means “TV time” exclusively, and modern screen devices offer far more opportunity for direct participation, “passive” screen-time options still abound. Not just on the still-ubiquitous family television set, but also on the internet and social media. How do you manage your family’s screen time judiciously?
Symptoms of Too Much Passive Screen Time
The children (or adults) in your household may have “viewer addiction” if they:
Whether or not any of the above are currently problems in your household, you don’t want television or YouTube clips becoming anyone’s reason for living. Remember, most addictions start small and grow gradually, often so gradually that no one notices trouble developing until it reaches crisis levels.
What to Do About It
Assuming that ridding your home of all televisions, computers, and smartphones is not an option, here are some practical tips to keep passive screen time from taking over.
If viewer addiction is a real problem in your household, consult a therapist: professional help may be necessary to break the screen’s pull and/or deal with psychological issues behind the desire to escape into screen-generated worlds.
NO PASSIVITY HERE
At Shady Oak Primary, we believe in working with children’s natural curiosity and keeping learning as active as possible. If you’re looking for a school that understands the advantages of student participation, play-based learning, and outdoor time, contact us for a thorough briefing on our educational approach.
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!