Technology Use and Children: When is enough, enough?

Instinctively, it’s fair to say that most parents would believe that excessive use of technology isn’t good for children and their developing brains. I’m sure that we would also agree that hours  spent playing (often violent) video games is also harmful to young people. With the arrival of games like Fortnight (which is recommended for children over the age of 14!), it’s not uncommon for children (including those at ASPS) to be spending hours in front of the screen before and after school. Again, surely this isn’t good for our children!

Technology use and its impact on children is an issue that has become more prevalent as the use and reliance on devices in our everyday lives has increased. While the amount of time children spend using technology differs among families and is influenced by personal beliefs, the impact of technology use is becoming more and more evident in many students’ conversations and interactions in the classroom and on the playground. As a community we feel that it is important to be informed about the ways children are using and interacting with technology as well as current research.

The following articles provide some useful information and recommendations that you may be interested in reading.

In the article included above, “Fortnight, Boys and Self-Control”, the author outlines the following (evidence based) recommendations which I encourage all families to consider.

  • No more than 40 minutes a night on school nights.
  • No more than an hour a day on weekends.
  • Your minutes do not roll over: if you go three weeks without playing, that does NOT mean that you are allowed to spend seven hours on a Saturday playing video games. That’s binge gaming, and it is harmful.
  • No games where the objective is to kill people. That means no Fortnite, no Call of Duty, no Grand Theft Auto. NBA Live is fine. Wii Bowling is fine. Madden NFL Football is fine. Candy Crush is fine.
  • No games until all the homework is done and all the chores are done.

While these recommendations won’t resonate with all families, I urge all parents to consider  what your family agreement is when it comes to technology use at home.