Last week, Diane Sawyer shared the findings on her six-month investigation of screen time across the US via a 2-hour, primetime 20/20 special. Diane’s team traveled the country for six months, speaking with parents, teachers, doctors, and tech insiders about their concerns over screen time. Managing screen time in a healthy and effective way is a topic we’ll always make room for. Here are our 5 takeaways from the 2-hour primetime special:
The statistics are disturbing. We’re on our phones an average of 49 days per year and unlock our phones an average of 80 times a day. Scary, isn’t it?
We’re starting to worry about our relationships. And our brains. The most powerful stories came from parents of teenagers, whose life raising children ten years ago looks a lot different than it does now. In one family, three teenage children—all good in school and involved in activities—were on their devices for 12-14 hours in a 30 hour period, while each parent was on their device for around 5. Parents of babies and toddlers
Parents have always been distracted, but being distracted by a screen is different. According to Dr. Kathy Hirsch-Pasek of Temple University is researching the effects of screen time on babies and toddlers and brought to light an interesting point. When a parent becomes distracted by a device, that is a singular, isolated activity, which is much different than the level of engagement happening with your child when the doorbell rings and you go answer it, or the oven timer goes off and you pull dinner out of the oven, or even when the phone rings and they can hear the way you’re speaking. Your child plays some part in those experience, even as a witness.
There’s a lot of really smart people working on ways to break screen time habits. The number one take away: think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Tim Cook is awaiting your email. Seriously. Got a suggestion on how to make screen time monitoring more manageable for parents? Apple’s CEO wants to hear your idea, and promises the brand is working on initiatives to combat screen addiction. Drop hime a line at [email protected].