In the fast growing world of technology, children often have little choice but to succumb to the temptation of screen time. More often than not, it is the parents who put the screen in the hands of the child in the first place just to buy some peace and quiet. These children are being pulled into a terrifyingly fast flowing river of technology of which we have no real idea of the final destination. Did you know, children aged between zero and eight spend an average of 1hr and 44 mins a day watching television, but spend only 29 minutes reading or being read to. As scary as that scenario is - there’s more. Spending an excessive amount of time on a screen has been linked with depression, isolation and extreme anxiety. Some people have even likened it to drug addiction.
As I was riding the bus home the other night with this playing through my mind, i took a moment to look around. Guess what I saw?
Five boys, all sitting around a screen, when they easily could’ve been talking to one another. Can you blame them though when this behaviour is modelled everywhere you look? Next time you are in a public place, see for yourself. Stop and look. Say you’re in MacDonald’s, look up and see that nearly everybody is on their phone? Wouldn’t it be nice if they put their screens away just for a minute, to see what’s happening in the real world? To connect and engage with the world around them?
So what can we do about it? Something extreme - maybe we need time limits legally imposed on us that restrict how long we can be on screens. Basically, our phone screens will turn off after an allotted period of time. Too much? Can we be trusted to manage our own screen time? Can parents? I’m doubtful - I think we may all need some help.
Anyway - after reading this, I hope that you think twice about screen time and maybe decide to put the screen away for a but, pick up a book or just look around.