By Leslie Crawford, Senior Editor
An article on screen addiction that we ran this week by a mom who wonders and worries if her teenage son is addicted to screens received passionate responses from our readers. If there’s one thing we learned, the jury is out.
"I'm so so so glad you posted this. REAL issues facing parents today. My son is 10 and I'm feeling the urge to pull the plug completely sometimes. It's too much. . . . Much to the chagrin of my son, I just sent him the link and asked him to read it. We will be discussing later today ."
Then there's the mom who writes about her screen-loving teen who is also a hard-working student:
"What a timely article, on a topic I've had reason to ponder often as the mother of a 13-yr-old boy.. . . . Am I concerned about addiction? Hmmm...yes . . . But I think it's as harmful to be a heavy-handed guilt monger and fear monger as it is to allow addictive behavior to develop.. . . I'll be interested to see the inventions of this generation, and how the technology influences them. . . . All is not lost. But all will be different. :) "
What we found most interesting in our reader response is how many parents aren't (like Anne Collins, the article's author) alarmed about technology.
"This article drives me nuts. Why is 'screen time' so bad? Just because it is something new? I do think that kids should be playing outside more or otherwise doing physical play more, but there is this undercurrent of 'fear of the screen' that has, in my opinion, no logical basis."
And from the following two readers, who point out that to succeed, kids must be screen-savvy:
"I think prohibiting any and all video/online play is sticking ones head into the sand as our kids' world is filled with the latest and greatest the industry has to offer and for them to succeed in high school/college/career they need to be savvy in those areas."
" … The modern student *must* be online or they won't be able to do their school work. Why is this a bad thing though? In fact, I think it is a good thing.. . . . I feel like parents my age, or maybe a smidge older than me, face texting and instant messaging the same way some old timer faced the telephone in the 1920s or something. "Get them young whippersnappers off the durn telleephonee and talking face to face. . . "
What corner of the screen debate are you on? Worried that your child uses too much? Tell us what you think.