BOSTON, August 1, 2016 – Teens have been inundated with messages about the dangers of texting while driving over the past several years—and while this message is still vitally important, texting is not the only danger popping up on their smartphone.
Here are three recent headlines that got me thinking:
“Watching one hour of TV per day increases risk for obesity by 50%”
“Watching TV for Just an Hour a Day Can Make Children Obese”
“Study makes surprising link between TV time and childhood obesity”
Oversimplifications? Um, yes.
When I was in medical school, there was this show called Beavis and Butthead.
Beavis and Butthead (as their names suggest) were two exaggerated versions of typical early adolescent boys who snickered at words with even a hint of sexual connotation. It was fashionable when the show was on to imitate their raspy laughter.
Camp provides time to be in nature and to practice living away from family. And, other than time spent asleep, camp is one of the few extended periods of time when kids will be away from their screens and devices. To better understand why it’s hard to unplug for summer camp, we interviewed Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
During times of “breaking news,” we are all drawn to our TVs, phones and computers for information. This was especially true throughout the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and lockdown, when we found the drama usually reserved for action-adventure movies playing out in our own neighborhoods.
We like to play on our computers as much as anyone. But during the holidays, solitary screen time squanders the chance to play with siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins and friends who are also on vacation. Taking a break from work can also mean a chance to recharge without being tethered to our computers.
In 21st-century America, where we no longer quilt on the front porch, play musical instruments together, or plant beans side-by-side in the field, dinner is the primary occasion we use to connect with one another. It’s also an important time to tell family stories, teach social skills and model good manners.
The first generation of digital kids are now old enough to be parents themselves. This is the Millennial Generation, born between 1980 and 2000, who grew up on video games, had access to email in grade school, cell phones in high school, and Facebook in college.
Since there are only so many hours in the day, we figured that all the hours spent on the Internet must be subtracted from some other activity.