If I could go back and do a do over, I would do this one in a heartbeat.
The research is clear: students will do much much better with less screen time. Here is the one rule that I changed and shouldn’t have…
Half an hour of screen time a day.
Things were so much better when we had this rule in place in our home. Why in the world did we ever back down on this one?!
I was shocked to discover that Gates and Jobs both restricted the use of technology for their kids…really!! Why because they knew better than anyone how addictive and destructive it was!
Yes it’s a thing!
In a new book, “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” the social psychologist Adam Alter warns that “many of us — youngsters, teenagers, adults — are addicted to modern digital products. Not figuratively, but literally addicted.”
Today, we have this phenomenon of behavioral addictions where, one tech industry leader told a columnist, “people are spending nearly three hours a day tethered to their cellphones. (Some estimates have students looking at screens 9 hours a day!!) Where teenage boys sometimes spend weeks alone in their rooms playing video games. Where Snapchat will boast that its youthful users open their app more than 18 times a day.”
The people who create video games wouldn’t say they are looking to create addicts. They just want you to spend as much time as possible with their products.
Do Not Waste Your Youth
I am not the devil but if I was, I would make sure that students waste their youth. Why, because they will never make the contributions to this world that they could! Think about this…
What could students do with 3 extra hours a day
- Read 100 pages
- Practice an instrument
- Learn a Skill
- Volunteer at a center
- Help out around the house
- Work at a part time job to sponsor a child
- Cook a meal
- Grow a garden
- Tutor at a public school
- Become a student leader at church
- Learn crafts painting sewing clothes design
- Make a video
- Improve social and communication skills.
- Study the Bible
Can you imagine what students at any level could accomplish if they were free three hours a day from looking at what others have created. Can you imagine what college students could accomplish, how they would learn, grow and mature with an extra 21 hours a week?!
So the one rule. Even if I bumped it to 1 hr a day, my young adult kids would still have considerably more time to develop all kinds of skills and be way ahead of their peers.
Wean them off of it!
Many parents are in the difficult position of trying to wean their kids off of Netflix, video games, and social networking… all the best to them. It will take unusual resolve to claw back screen time.
If you have teenagers in your home one of the best things that you can do for them is limit their use of tech for entertainment.
If you work with parents or students encourage them to put a premium on time together, having an active lifestyle, and severely limiting their screen time. If they invest all of these hours in caring for other and personal development they will be healthier, happier, and more mature than their peers.