How Often Should Youth Engage in ‘Screen Time’?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, youth and teens spent nearly half the day looking at computers, tablets, cell phones and television screens. How many hours out of the day do you think is appropriate for children, youth and teens to be exposed to digital screens? Cast your vote and share your thoughts in today’s poll.

How often should youth be allowed to engage in screen time?

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K. T. July 31, 2015 at 8:28 am

Adults spend more than half their day in front of screens as well.

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Bonnie C July 23, 2015 at 9:35 am

There shouldn't be a rigid limit for screen time but some common sense needs to be used (are the homework and other "chores" completed for the day, etc.) before allowing your kids to use their electronic devices. Having access to a cell phone (smart phone) all day long is a serious temptation to waste time, but it can also be a valuable resource (calling home, looking up something on the Internet, etc.). So gauge what your child needs, and help them develop good habits. I'd say an equal concern is that more adults need to put down the electronics, look into the eyes of the person with whom they're conversing, and pay more attention to what's happening in the world.

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C July 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

When necessary. I hear that kids are now required to do and submit homework on the computer and I personally believe the internet is the most powerful educational tool ever invented (when used properly). I used to learn and relax with some television when I was a kid but we didn't have cell phones or video games, except at the arcade. I think as long as kids have real face-to-face social time with other kids, have a conserved media-free dinnertime each night with the family and are obviously not experiencing ill effects from social media (a biggie), use of technology is ok. Having written this, I saw yesterday a truck on I-83 that couldn't maintain a lane and as I passed and looked over, the teenybopper driver was bent over her steering wheel reading something on her smartphone while driving. That is a major problem with catastrophic potential consequences.

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