If you’re anything like me, your concept of time has been pretty messed up by the events of the past year or so. Honestly, at any given point, I don’t know what day it is. This pretty much explains why I am baffled by the fact that it’s already summer and the theme parks here in Orlando are filling up with out of town visitors. I was not emotionally prepared for the increase in traffic.
With summer here, it’s a good time to start limiting the amount of time kids are spending with screens. We’re in the process of coming off a really difficult time where a majority of all of our waking hours have been spent on some sort of device. Actually, this might be a good time to start limiting everyone’s screen time. I’m including myself in this.
According to a census conducted by Common Sense Media in 2019, teenagers ages 13-18 are spending an average of over seven hours on their phones per day with tweens (ages 8-12) not far behind with an average of almost five hours. These findings aren’t even factoring in time spent on homework, reading, or taking in different forms of entertainment like videos and music. Add those in and you see those numbers jump to almost ten hours logged for teens and nearly six for tweens.
I’m sorry to say that adults are just as guilty of the crime of spending too much time with their noses buried in devices. I’m including myself in this, I promise! The cold hard facts are that we are spending well over nine hours a day on average on our digital devices according to another report from Common Sense Media.
I can almost guarantee that these numbers increased in 2020 and 2021 as we all moved to working and schooling from home.
With the hope that by fall of 2021 we’ll be even closer to returning to life as we knew it, summer is a great time to start a bit of a screen time detox for your kids.
Start by setting firm but realistic limitations to the amount of time that can be spent on devices. We’re talking about watching TV and movies, playing video games, and scrolling through social media.
Rather than rinse and repeat what others have posted about ideas for screen-free time, I’m going to point you to this blog post “Screen-Free Summer Activities to Beat the Boredom”
Also a reminder about the return of Pizza Hut’s Book It! Program which is a great way to get kids reading this summer and keeping their minds active!
What ideas do you have for getting some screen-free time this summer? Let us know in the comments!
Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com
You can purchase Josh’s books “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” and “You’re Doing It Wrong: A Mixtape Memoir” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.