According to a recent article in the New York Times, innovators of mobile and “screen” technologies who are now parents have decided that the tech they had a hand in creating and furthering has no place in their children’s lives. These parents have done the research and have decided that the screen time dangers for kids far outweigh the benefits. One mom, Athena Chavarria, who worked at Facebook and now works for Mark Zuckerburg’s philanthropic charity, the Chan Zuckerburg Initiative, even goes so far to say, “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones.”
Screen time dangers are real
Chris Anderson, a former editor at Wired and now the Dad behind GeekDad.com, says screen time is akin to drugs for your kid.
“On the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it’s closer to crack cocaine,” he said of screen time dangers.
Anderson is a dad of five, and his family has some pretty serious rules about screens. Among these rules: no phones until the summer before high school, no screens in kids’ rooms, and no social media until they’re 13. The rules, he says, were born of necessity: “I didn’t know what we were doing to their brains until I started to observe the symptoms and the consequences.”
Anderson is far from alone. The New York Times article says, tellingly:
Tim Cook, the C.E.O. of Apple, said earlier this year that he would not let his nephew join social networks. Bill Gates banned cellphones until his children were teenagers, and Melinda Gates wrote that she wished they had waited even longer. Steve Jobs would not let his young children near iPads.
Another techie couple, Kristin Stecher and Rushabh Doshi (she’s a former computing engineer and he’s a current Facebook engineer), say imposing screen time limits is so difficult, that banning screens completely has proved to be much easier when it comes to their three-and-five-year-old daughters.