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Technology and Kids Today – Screentime, apps, and social media oh my!

January 13, 2016

Do you ever feel guilty for allowing too much “screen time” with your kids just to have a few extra moments to finish up a task? Well, good news! A recent article on cnn.com highlighted that the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated their recommended screen time for kids and teens in order to better reflect our technology driven world of today. The meteoric rise in technology over the past three decades has completely changed the relationship between teens and media. Teens are often the first group to adopt a new technology because at that younger age it’s easier for them to pick up new things, but now it seems that every new generation of teens is equipped with a different social skill set based on the advances of technology.

The teens of 1995 were on the forefront of learning to use the internet as part of their everyday lives, today’s teens don’t know how to live without it. They’re focused on finding the latest-and-greatest app that will help them communicate better with their peers. Whereas 60% of teens in 1995 talked to their friends on the phone daily, now only 39% of teens make or receive voice calls at all, while only 35% of teens social with other teens outside of school on a daily basis.

This was partially due to a movement in the mid-2000s in which parents encouraged children to stay inside due to fears of neighborhood safety — not to mention the rapid expansion of the internet. Between 1995 and 2005, the internet grew from 23,500 to 64.8 MILLION websites!

In TeenSafe’s latest infographic, True Facts About Teens and Media: Now & Then, you learn all these facts and more, such as…

  • Did you know that today, school dances are dying out?
  • As teen media usage has grown, teen obesity rates have more than doubled.
  • In 1995, people referred to the internet as the “Information Superhighway.”
  • In 2005, the most popular online activity for teens was sending and reading emails.
  • In 2015, 95% of teens are online!

It’s amazing to see how far teens and media have come — and to imagine where they’ll go next. Keep in mind as a parent, it is still important to set limits and to censor screen time. The world has changed and has moved to a much more digital, impersonal age. But the information we have at our fingertips is so addicting and personal interactions between teens today is so different than in 1995! (I feel so old typing that year…to me it was just like yesterday when Saved By The Bell was all the rage in the early 90s. Eek!) Check out the infographic below which reflects the change in teens screen time habits over the past 20 years:

 

TeenSafe-MediaNowThen

 

Be WISE!

Amy

 

 

 

Sources:

Adapted from content from Teensafe.com. http://www.teensafe.com/blog/true-facts-about-teens-and-media/ 

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/06/health/screen-time-rules-change-pediatricians/

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