While cell phones and personal computers are gaining popularity among younger and younger generations, parents should be wary of giving too much tech to their children. The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a study that may end in some confiscated iPhones.
Here’s what the New York Times reported about the study:
“The study found that young people’s media consumption grew far more in the last five years than from 1999 to 2004, as sophisticated mobile technology like iPods and smart phones brought media access into teenagers’ pockets and beds.”
“Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices, compared with less than six and a half hours five years ago, when the study was last conducted. And that does not count the hour and a half that youths spend texting, or the half-hour they talk on their cellphones.”
“Forty-seven percent of the heaviest media users — those who consumed at least 16 hours a day — had mostly C’s or lower, compared with 23 percent of those who typically consumed media three hours a day or less. The heaviest media users were also more likely than the lightest users to report that they were bored or sad, or that they got into trouble, did not get along well with their parents and were not happy at school.”
Parents shouldn’t be disheartened by the recent findings.
Victoria Rideout, a Kaiser vice president who is lead author of the study, reminds us “[Parents] can still make rules, and it still makes a difference.”
That said, maybe parents should re-think adding those toddler iPhone apps (read more here) or giving them their own phone (examples shown here). They might be too entranced in these gadgets to learn their ABCs.
Read the full New York Times article here.
Photo from flickr