The Social Media Obsessed Teen: Screen Addiction

What activity occupies our children’s time for nearly one-third of their day?

Many parents will comment on this question with the obvious youthful pastimes of sleeping or playing. Granted, those are justified remarks, because our sons and daughters typically spend 40 percent of their childhood sleeping. Afterall, aren’t our kids supposed to get a blissful 9 to 11 hours of sleep? And play time? A majority of our living room floors are covered in Legos or toys as evidence to support this claim. Unfortunately, the answer to the above question is disheartening and eye opening.

Alarmingly, a majority of our kids are parked in front of a screen or device for one third of their day!

According to the New York Times, our children (between the ages of 8 and 11) spend almost 8 hours everyday in front of some type of screen ranging from televisions to cell phones. To further compound this dilemma, it is believed that our teens might be consuming over 11 hours of screen time on a daily basis. This is hard to digest, especially when we consider a normal work or school day is typically an 8 hour shift.

Imagine all the learning activities, enrichment opportunities, and social developments our kids are missing out on while they are mesmerized by devices.

The growing amount of daily screen time is potentially threatening our boys’ and girls’ development and overall well-being. It’s no secret that our kids learn from face-to-face interactions and hands-on experiences, but many reports and studies are finding that society’s technology overload can impact our kids in a variety of ways from disrupting sleep patterns, increasing childhood obesity, and even hampering their abilities to read social cues.

It’s obvious many of us will feel overwhelmed after reading the compiled data, because we naturally want what’s best for our children.
Amidst juggling our daily schedules and routines, it’s easy to overlook how invasive screen time actually is in our lives. Everyday we are busy and have begun relying more and more on technologies and the conveniences they offer our families. Somehow, we (including our sons and daughters) have become addicted to screens.

Thankfully, awareness is the first step to combating this growing problem.
By realizing the true impact screen time is having on our kids’ lives, we can take measures today to improve tomorrow. Afterall, like all good things, everything is better in moderation and screen time is no exception. We can help our sons and daughters regain a healthy balance with screen time by utilizing mindful choices and setting reasonable limits.

For more information on reducing screen addiction, please read the following infographic brought to us from the minds at TeenSafe:

Amy K. Williams

Amy Williams. Is a journalist, social worker, and concerned parent who loves spreading the word on digital safety. You can find her on Twitter @amykwilliams1

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