For the kids, the rule is “no media on weekdays.” They unplug at family dinner and before bed. They have a family movie night on Fridays, which is an example of the principle Radesky touts in her research, of “joint media engagement,” or simply sharing screen time.
On weekends, they allow the kids cartoons, apps and games. But more than just limiting time, says Radesky, “I try to help my older son be aware of the way he reacts to video games or how to interpret information we find online.” For example, she tries to explain how he is being manipulated by games that ask him to make purchases while playing.
I think about this a lot: how screen time not only affects adults who are constantly glued to their phone, but the kids who are growing up with this technology.
For my age group as well (tail-end GenX to Millennials), I’ve also been thinking about how kids understand phones (cameras) constantly being in their orbit. As an example, most people my age share stories and photos of their kids on socials (mainly Instagram), which is totally understandable. But I wonder if that is having any affect on their children, who constantly have a phone in their presence? They must be aware of it, right?
I understand that our parents took pictures and videos of us as well, but that VHS Camcorder didn’t fit in my Dad’s pocket.