What Unlimited Screen Time Does to Kids
Last year parents ranked increased screen time among the top 3 harmful effects of the pandemic. Adolescents’ screen time more than doubled during 2020. Many teens (and their parents) worry they are addicted to their phones.
While modern technology made education and friendships possible to maintain during quarantine, there is a dark side to spending extended periods online. 7 in 10 children have accidentally accessed harmful content online. Teens who use social media more than 3 hours per day are at a heightened risk for mental illness. Too much social media can lower self esteem, distort body image, and increase isolation and loneliness. Many teens have experienced cyberbullying, to the point that online harassment is seen as normal. Also troubling is content; the average child is first exposed to pornography at age 11. 81% of teens who have seen pornographic materials were exposed unintentionally.
Parents need to create an internet that’s safe for their family. First, establish age-appropriate ground rules for your child. Make sure they understand why the rules are important. You should also teach your kids good habits to foster a healthy relationship with technology. Parental controls also allow you to filter web traffic for potentially harmful content.