Monday, October 28, 2013

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents put their teens on media diets

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that parents limit their teens’ access to all media (including television, Internet and cell phone use) to two hours a day.  Previously, the AAP had recommended that children under two not see any television at all because of the possibility of developmental disruption caused by fast-moving images. Online homework would not be included in the two hours.

It seems that when I was in high school, on week nights, that’s about what I did.  I think I often watched the news, and sometimes one program.  But homework – those term papers written on the kitchen table – took a lot of time.
WJLA has a link to the story here.The rather strongly worded AAP statement is here
I think you can play devil’s advocate with this recommendation.  Some kids become prodigies and use media to do so.  Do you want to stop the high school student who plays musical instruments, acts in plays, and also knows how to edit music and film – you actually need “media” to support feedback into ‘real world” activities.  One techie who came by from Geek Squad to fix a desktop computer at the end of 2008 said that he had learned to code java at the age of 12. 

What seems to matter is whether teens get “real world” social and practical interaction and accomplishment.  What should matter is not how many Facebook friends you can count, but how many in the real world you can count on.

Yet, below the top of the line, misuse of media by kids, is, of course, rampant. 

As someone who uses media all the time as a single adult, I sometimes "LOL" at the idea of a "family computer" in a public area of a house.  And I wonder how long I can sustain myself. 

How does a parent who works in media handle this?  It strikes me that it would be hard to be a journalist and raise a family, because the latter activity goes against being “objective”.  

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