Technology is here to stay. Children are already using laptops and tablets at school as learning tools. They will be using these in the real world when they are grown. The argument on what is too much screen time is not new. It first occurred when televisions became common place in households. The arguments were that TV hindered children from playing outside and the “boob tube” (The slang term of “boob” in that era was a foolish non-thing person) was being used as a baby sitter; sounds familiar? In some cases this was very true. It was the responsibility of the parent to determine what was appropriate. Myself, as well as many of my friends had TV time quotas. It was thought there were more productive or active things we should be doing as children. TV was viewed as quiet time entertainment. Parents made the decision on how much we watched and what we watched.
Granted, there was no internet, nor immediate communication or access to instant information that we have today, but it is still in the hands of parents to determine what is best for their family and children. We are becoming a nanny state. We are looking to the government to decide what is best for us in our own homes. Schools are already sending BMI reports home, implying our kids are fat. Dahhhhh! We look at them daily, we know this. Do we really want government to invade our privacy even further by monitoring our children’s screen time? We are becoming drones to popular opinion that’s driven by, and often slanted for effect by the media.
Years ago there were children everywhere, outside riding bikes and playing in backyards. Now if we see a child walking alone down the street it’s called in as neglect. We don’t know our neighbors because we fear them; there’s some kind of boogey man around every corner that will harm our child. Fear is bred by sensationalized news reports. We negate the fact that crime is significantly lower now than it was 20 and 30 years ago. So we isolate our children and placate their boredom with video games and gadgets. It’s not the children’s fault they get too much screen time and become addicted, it’s our fault as parents for not setting limits and not kicking them outside to play. Too often parents want to be their child’s friend by giving and letting them do whatever they want. It’s time to be a parent if you want a future functional adult.