This article paints a scary picture. As a father of 4 young ones for whom “screen time” is a highlight of each day, I have a lot of trepidation on the entire topic. It’s a longer read, but the essence of it is that despite being safer during the teen years than most generations before them, teens today have a higher rate of mental illness.
I found the article well written, with the author eschewing the need to wax nostalgic:
To those of us who fondly recall a more analog adolescence, this may seem foreign and troubling. The aim of generational study, however, is not to succumb to nostalgia for the way things used to be; it’s to understand how they are now.
But even just a skim through the article will leave one feeling a little scared when understanding how things are now.
One of the ironies of iGen life is that despite spending far more time under the same roof as their parents, today’s teens can hardly be said to be closer to their mothers and fathers than their predecessors were.
I see the danger of this in my own home. It’s why we focus on a specific time set aside for screen use. And it’s why we have a family computer in a central location (rather than a child’s bedroom).
But I sometime succumb to the fear that these are just stopgap measures in a battle that cannot be won. Heck, I’m losing the battle myself — how can my children do better?
Related: Dave Caolo shares how his own home has changed thanks to our devices and constant connection.