“Alone Together” on Our Device - Tips on Rolling Back the Tech

From the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) Safe Technology Subcommittee:

 Common Sense Media released an interesting report this week that spotlights how much time kids are "alone together" on devices.


Brace yourself.

Here are a few key insights from the report followed by Safe Tech's suggestions for rolling back the tech:

The Common Sense Consensus: 2019 — Media Use by Tweens and Teens

  • "Online video viewing is through the roof: More than twice as many young people watch videos every day than did in 2015, and the average time spent watching has roughly doubled.

  • On average, 8- to 12-year-olds in this country use just under five hours’ worth of entertainment screen media per day (4:44), and teens use an average of just under seven and a half hours’ worth (7:22)—not including time spent using screens for school or homework.

  • There are substantial differences in the amount of screen media young people use based on socioeconomic status. 

  • There has been a large drop in the amount of time both tweens and teens spend watching TV on a television set.

  • Young people are more than twice as likely as they were four years ago to say that they use computers for homework every day." 

 Safe Tech De-Tech Tips

• Ditch YouTube from kids' devices. More and more parents are doing it. One parent told me her child didn't notice for weeks.

• Here's another real-world tip shared by an MCPS parent: Allow Kids YouTube only and ONLY on a television screen so you can see what they are watching. Kids are less inclined to sneak into weirdo videos when their choices are open to all in the room.

• Get devices out of the bedroom. Period.

• Curb your own device use. 

• Ask teachers for paper homework — so you can participate in the learning process, or they can do it before sports practice, or study with friends.

• Make Sundays screen-free in your house.

• Take family Tech Breaks of about 5 minutes a few times a day or evening. This allows everyone to be 'screening' at the same time and, more importantly spending time together at the same time.