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What We're Following Today August 27, 2020

What We’re Following Today August 27, 2020

As a parent sometimes I wonder about the impact of the pandemic and isolation on my children and myself for that matter. One thing I have been wondering about is how TV or Game addiction might be getting worse the more time we are spending at home. Already with phones and other devices, our favorite media is never far from being accessible. But when we don’t need to engage with teachers / each other / friends etc., there are less barriers to us consuming media. In the article below, it cites “According to a recent survey, the average person’s screen time is up at least 50%, even more so for children.”

As they state, digital addiction is a thing, and the brain can respond to these digital devices or the media on them in a way that is similar to the impact of drugs on the brain. For our young ones, we know that we can’t just eliminate media or devices altogether because it is simply part of the world we all live in - good and bad. But we need to make sure we engage with them on the devices to make sure what they are doing is “approved” and we also have to monitor how “dependent” they become. We see it often in our kids when they refuse to give up a device or tantrum when asked to stop. At those moments we explain that this reaction means they don’t have a healthy relationship with the device / media and therefore we have to limit exposure more. We have found that setting a timer is a good way to get them to understand that when the timer goes off we have to stop…but there is no perfect solution if we plan to live in a world where constant contact and access to information is status quo.

The article also talks about how dependency on devices or media can have a physical impact too. “The more screen use we have we are shown to have more body weight and poor bone health because we're not using our muscles. We could have more risk factors in the long run of our life for heart disease,” she said.” For more info, read below.

Some more data on screen time in the pandemic:

This report from Ipsos talks to some of the physical and other effects of increased screen time experienced by people during the pandemic in addition to some stats on device usage. These are self reported answers in a survey, but what would be interesting would be to see things like Netflix usage, Apple Screentime, Amazon streaming, etc.

Here’s one stat at the beginning of the post that should help inform some of the things we need to concentrate on as we turn to our devices more and more - eye health - dry or long term impact? “Among those who report spending more time in front of a screen, nearly half (45%) say that they have experienced their eyes feeling dry as a result and 60% are concerned about the impact that increased screen time will have on their eyes.”

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