Want to know what kind of reaction Jane Brody’s piece on kids’ screen time got today? Answer: A whole lot.
Brody, a personal health columnist for the New York Times, wrote an article that appeared in The New York Times today covering the burgeoning notion of “screen addiction” among kids and teens. In the piece, Brody touches on the upcoming documentary “Web Junkie,” which explores a Beijing rehab center where Chinese teenagers are being “deprogrammed” from internet addiction. Consider it the ultimate detox treatment for kids hooked on video games, social media and screens of all sizes.
Extreme? Maybe not. While there is no official “internet addiction” diagnosis in the U.S., Brody discusses the unprecedented levels of screen time taking place not just among teens (who, according to a recent Pew Study, average almost 3,500 texts a month), but, perhaps more alarmingly, among toddlers and school-age kids as well. She observes a world where children rarely spend time in cars, restaurants or grocery stores unaided by digital distractions.
But perhaps just as fascinating as the article itself is the reaction it has unleashed in the form of hundreds and hundreds of comments. And these weren’t from a united point of view. Rather, the comments, musings and unapologetic rants contain the gamut of screen-time stances, from “zero tolerance” to “let it go, already. Screens are here to stay.”
“As an (often ridiculed) parent of a 2.5 year old that has probably watch less than 5 minutes of TV in her entire life, this comes as welcome validation for those of us who have adopted a ‘non-screen’ parenting strategy.”
“As a child I wished my parents allowed me to play more video games. Now at 25 I thank them for keeping me away.”
“We live in a technology-driven society. No matter how much we may wish to digitally detox as adults, the reality is that most of us make our living from industries that are dependent on technology. So while we should try to manage our children’s screen time and teach them ways to avoid addiction, they will still need technology skills to function in the 21st century. Some screen time is just a normal part of the modern world we live in.”
“Maybe it’s not time to tell your children to unplug. Maybe it’s time to log in yourself. I’ve been hugged more tightly with a sentence than I ever have by someone’s arms.”
Where do you stand on the screen-time spectrum? Comment here and let us know!