I recently finished The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships by Dr. Archibald D. Hart and Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd. It’s a book that is even now almost obsolete because of how fast technology changes, but it is one I would highly recommend every parent to read.
One very informative element of this book is a table shared from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding screen time and age of child. It is very insightful, and I wonder how we do in comparison to the suggested usage:
Children ages 0 to 2 – No screen time. Babies need all five senses to develop at this stage, and the digital screen only develops two of those senses, namely seeing and hearing.
Children ages 3 to 5 – One hour per day. This is the age of make-believe. They have no logic at this age so they need to spend playtime with other children.
Children ages 6 to 12 – No more than ninety minutes per day.
Children ages 13 to 19 – Two hours a day.
So what do you think? How does your son or daughter’s usage line up with the suggested time?
This is the American Academy of Pediatrics, so their chart ends at the age of 19, but I wonder what the chart would look like for adults. What should the screen time for a 28 year old be? What about the screen time for a 38 year old? A 45 year old? An 80 year old?
Does the time keep increasing as we get older? I don’t think so…
But think about it…that’s total screen time.
That means the average high school student at school, at home, at a friends house, using tablet, phone, television, etc. should only have two hours a day of total screen time. That’s pretty radical of an idea.
The implications are compelling…
would families be more cohesive? Would relationships be deeper? Would we be able to have productive social interactions? Would we engage strangers and cultivate relationships better than we currently do? Would we be less distracted and more productive?