No Surprise: Parents' Screen Times Worse Than Kids

By Ana-Marija Dolaskie — Dec 07, 2016
Mom and dad are just as guilty — if not more — of soaking up screen time than their offspring. That's rather interesting, considering the fact that the same parents responded that they were concerned their children would become addicted to technology. 

'Do as I say, not as I do,' said every plugged-in parent ever.

Mom and dad are just as guilty — if not more — of soaking up screen time than their offspring, a new study found. A national report from the Common Sense Census analyzed how parents manage their kids' — and their own — media use. Surveys from more than 1,700 parents of children between the ages of 8 and 18 showed that while parents actively limit the use of their tweens and teens media time, parents themselves rack up more than nine hours per day with computers, e-readers, smartphones, and other devices. And, 82 percent of the time the screen is dedicated to 'personal media use' rather than work-related. 

That's rather interesting, considering the fact that the same parents (who by the way live in glass houses) responded that more than half of them were concerned their children are — or would become — addicted to technology. 

Though fascinating, are the findings that surprising? Nope. The truth is, we are quite clearly attached to our phones. So much so that we tend to bring them to the bathroom, a trend known as iPooping. Adults (lookin' at you, parents) are notorious for that, and for a good reason: bathrooms are the quiet space for the 'rents that need to escape a chaotic household — or so I've heard. And, you know your smartphone addiction has reached a new low when you can't put it down and go to sleep. The Huffington Post lists several reasons why bringing your smartphone into the bedroom, to begin with, is a very bad idea. Read them here.

What's the downside?

It's hard to say for sure, but studies and surveys continue to pop up which may indicate a connection between excessive smartphone use and anxiety and depression. Recently, in research from the University of Illinois students who reported high smartphone use also reported poor mental health. Another study released last year found similar effects from phone use, with social anxiety being a reliable indicator of frequent smartphone use. And yet another study found that those possibly 'addicted' to smartphones are less equipped to deal with emotional distress than 'non-addicts,' though this could actually mean those with anxiety or depression tend to overuse phones, rather than the phones being the cause of mental illness.

If parents and kids were to adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics' recent guidelines on media, they'd have to shave off eight hours of screen time from their days — at least in kids ages 2 to 5.

That's sad news, given that most primetime shows clock in at a little over an hour, with 36 percent of it being commercials, but that's neither here nor there.





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