Children of the Screen….

Future runaway kids don’t have to roam downtown L.A. or Rio De Janeiro. They may just be (or  pretending to be) sleeping in the bedroom next to yours.

According to a new study by Kaiser Family Foundation, kids (age  8 to 18) spend  7.5 hours a day on average plugged in to their smart phones, tv, computers, or other electronic devices. And just when the researchers thought kids couldn’t spend any more time doing that, given how many hours are in a day, they amazingly were able to make  the time (the average was 6.5 hours five years ago)!

How well do you really know your kids? Are you  raising your kids according to where you believe their best interest lies? Or are all these sites, friends, companies,  and advertisers (some of them may even be good) having bigger influence than you are? Even when you have the power, though admittedly often difficult, to limit their screen time?

It is really an unfair fight. You are a parent with increasingly limited time and resources. You have to contend with big media corporations that are catering to your kids with profit as the sole motive. You’re trying to raise your kids while all these corporations, under one disguise or another,  are trying to do the same. It reminds me of the Borgs in star trek who plug in to feed on a steady stream from “the collective”.

I may not be smart enough to forsee how this new generation of “screen kids” will turn out. But I know this. There is an ever easier and unlimited  access for “strangers” who seek joint custody (and not on your terms!).

It is wise to keep that in mind.


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One Response to “Children of the Screen….”

  1. tom sheepandgoats Says:

    I remember when Paul McCartney was said to have died in a car crash, and the other Beatles covered it up with a look-alike, and campus radio spoke of nothing else for days on end. My roommate urged me (unsuccessfully) to install a reverse gear on my turntable so as to play all Beatle records backwards, looking for hidden clues such as were to be found in someof their songs. The mainstream media was oblivious to the story, notwithstanding that the Beatles were the most popular rock group to date. They didn’t ignore substantive news to break in breathlessly with update after update, as they would today, as they recently did with….say…the Tiger Woods sex escapades. I recall only one grumbling opinion piece, after several days had elapsed, to the effect that the Beatles…those unpredictable kids… may have fooled us all with their practical joke, but it was a sick laugh they must be having.

    I was upset about it. I wanted more airtime for our generation. But now I see it was a protection, from adults who still felt a collective sense of responsibility toward the younger generation. Or maybe they were just fuddy-duddys out of touch with changing times, but nonetheless, it was a protection. Let kids have their own generation, let them cultivate their own interests, but not to the exclusion of all else. Construct your society so that doesn’t happen. Link them with ideas of the past, ideas that have roots, ideas that have endured over time.

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