Our take: As a society, we are constantly connected. Our phones allow us to check email, play games, stream movies and, occasionally, even make a phone call. This plugged-in world is no longer limited to just adults, as children are increasingly using the Internet and screens for education and entertainment. In her article for Mashable, blogger Rebecca Levey explores the boundaries parents must maintain with their children and gadgets.
This summer a mom I know told me her 12 year-old bookworm daughter regretfully handed back her Kindle Fire, saying she couldn’t handle the temptation to play games rather than read. Her mom was stunned. She assumed that all of those hours on the Kindle were being spent pouring over the school summer reading list. It turns out her daughter couldn’t resist Doodle Jumping her days away.
I was impressed that a young girl could admit this growing addiction and hand over her Kindle, but she’s the exception, and not the norm. Most parents are slowly recognizing that what starts out as an innocent distraction and fun way to integrate tech into our lives can easily turn into a full blown addiction to the games and gadgets that our kids now have access to all the time.
One of the reasons I chose my daughters’ overnight camp this summer was because of their “no electronics” rule. No gadgets are allowed – and there’s no electricity in the bunks. I admit, I needed them to be completely unplugged, and it’s much easier to do that in a place where there are literally no plugs. At home, somehow, the one hour of allowed screen time easily morphs into two or three.
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