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Screen Time Warning
August 6, 2013
A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without a vision is drudgery, a vision and a task is the hope of the world.
-Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas
"If we let our youngest kids get too attached to those mesmerizing devices, they may have a hard time growing attached to each other later," observed Sherry Turkle in her article, "Once Upon a Screen," in The Science of You:  The Factors That Shape Your Personality (New York: Time Books, 2013).  She explained...

"We are embarking on a giant experiment in which our children are the human subjects.  There is much that is exciting and thrilling here.  But these objects take children away from many things that we know from generations of experience are most nurturing for them.  In the first instance, children are taken away from the human face and voice, because people are tempted to let the shiny screens read to children, amuse children, play games with children.  And they take children away from each other.  They allow them to have experiences (texting, i-chatting, indeed talking to online characters) that offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship....

"No matter how intriguing or interesting, online connections are not substitutes for the complexities and nuances of face-to-face conversations.  Yet one can become so accustomed to what the online world offers — the chance to edit oneself, to present oneself as one wishes — that other kinds of contact feel intimidating.  And, indeed, many plugged-in children grow up to fear conversation."

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Comments (3)

Displaying All 3 Comments
Lavinia · August 06, 2013
Suva, Suva, Fiji


Edna Ranck · August 06, 2013
Washington, District of Columbia, United States

OMEP-USA is co-sponsoring with NAEYC its 10th FILMedia Event at November's NAEYC annual conference. We will talk about all the screens available to very young children and this is a great introduction. Children will learn to use smartphones at some point in time; a lot of us who are really "older" have acquired an iPhone and learned to use it capably-I have had a cell phone since 1997 and just bought my first iPhone. So adults who are urged to purchase tablets and iPhones for their young children need to control the time and place that children have access to the screens. And parents: talk to your children instead of scanning your incoming calls and emails!

Amy · August 06, 2013
Childkind preschool
Santa Rosa, CA, United States

Read this and then you might rethink your ideas about screen time, it changed my perceptions. Balance is the key word here.

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