I enjoyed lunch with a friend today—the mother of three young children. Their family may be the only one I know that has managed to keep their kids internet-free. Oh sure, there’s some TV. But that’s it. Can you imagine? Could most kids survive?
“Oh, they’re so busy. They wouldn’t have time for all that,” my friend humbly reflected. But isn’t everybody busy any more? Isn’t “I’m so busy!” the mantra of our era? And yet…
The average American kid spends 7+ hours per day on entertainment media.
I’m concerned—about my own family, naturally, but even moreso about the long-term effects of generations of humans evolving this way. Doctors are officially worried too: A recent article in Pediatrics magazine recommends a max of two hours. The problems associated with media over-consumption include:
“It’s their world,” has become my cop-out surrender over the years. After all, my folks didn’t stop me from buying big stereos, playing in a rock-&-roll band, and watching Gilligan’s Island. And many parents resort to,
You know, as long as they’re doing well in school and playing sports and seem well-adjusted…”
But maybe the crisis is not so simple. It’s NOT their world; it’s ours. And it’s our responsbility to keep our progeny from turning into sick and tired cyber-zombies.
This tug-of-war is far from over. I’m getting back into fighting shape.