Screen time. It used to be a dirty word, but now our kids’ ability to effectively use computers has become just as important as their ability to read, write and calculate. Many of us are familiar with the concept of screen time. It is a time that is specifically set aside for children, or adults, to use technology in a healthy manner.
There is an ongoing debate in society about how the use of computers, tablets, and mobile devices affects our lives. There are two types of people in the world: screen time haters and screen time lovers. Some say too much screen time is the enemy. Others say it’s not so bad since technology has in fact led to a lowering of the world’s crime rate, increased education through things like Kano Club and MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses), and improved productivity in the workplace by allowing more people to accomplish more tasks through collaborating on digital documents.
How much time do you spend on your computer or your smartphone? If you are like most people, the answer is probably way too much. We have entered a new era of technology, increasing our screen time to unhealthy levels. However, this was not supposed to happen. We were supposed to be more productive and connected than ever before. Instead, we are less active and less social than ever. Watching hours of Netflix, playing hundreds of PlayStation games, and consuming Amazon’s latest Prime deal in record time.
’Screens are bad for you’ — There is a lot of talk about the dangers of screen time and with good reason when you read article after article covering the harmful effects that too much screen time can have on young people. And although it is true that kids who spend too long in front of screens may be at risk of becoming disillusioned, easily distracted, socially isolated, and lacking in empathy, not all screen-time is bad.
We live in a technology-driven era. It’s overwhelming how many people think that too much screen time is bad for you. But is spending ALL day on your screens really bad for you? This article aims to give you both sides of the coin, and then we will let you choose whether your Instagram use time is healthy or not.
Screen Time Is Bad For You!
Everyone has a black mirror in their home. A TV, smartphone, computer, tablet, or smart home device is probably at least twenty centimeters from you right now. They are everywhere and they are now an essential item. When any form of technology has become essential in any generation, questions and theories become an immediate topic of conversation in any media outlet. There is a good reason why.
Children from the age of 8 and under spend an average of about 2.25 hours per day using tablets. How is this affecting their brains? Not in a good way it seems. Children who spend more than an hour a day in front of a screen — TV, computer, video games, or cell phone — are more likely to get nearsighted, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study in 2018. This study also showed data proving a link between excessive screen time and scoring lower in education exams and thinning areas of the brain's cortex.
“If young children spend most of their time engaging with an iPad, it can be hard to get them engaged in non-electronic activities, such as playing with toys to foster imagination and creativity and playing with other children to develop appropriate social skills. Interacting almost exclusively with screens would be like working out only your arm muscles and nothing else.” — Dr. J. Cross
Screen time is not a luxury. Multiple studies have shown that excessive screen time can impair brain development or even lead to long-lasting behavioral and emotional problems in adults. Affecting areas of your life such as sleep, your cognitive ability, increasing your chance of obesity, and more.
Screen Time Is Good For You!
If you spent any time in front of anything with a screen online today, I would be shocked. You’re probably on there checking social media, watching Netflix, or ordering apps. And if you are like people from many countries around the world, you are spending up to eight hours a day on screens.
But don’t worry. The people who study this stuff tell us that screen time is not really bad for you. In fact, there are some surprising benefits to spending too much time on your computer, tablet, or phone. After all, we use computers to send emails, surf the internet, check up on social media, and so much more.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, screen time has become an extended normality. There are so many benefits of using screens that at times we forget just how beneficial they can be for education, entertainment and so much more.
“Some benefits of screen time include providing a place for youth to connect with like-minded others, opportunities to explore interests and hobbies that aren’t available to one in ‘real’ life, and keeping in touch with far-away friends and family.” — Diana Graber, Author of Raising Humans in a Digital World, and Founder of Cyber Civics/Cyberwise.
Technology is a great way to study and communicate, both inside and outside the classroom. You can use technology in any way you want, whether it’s for a business or just to have fun. You can learn something new or meet new people. Your computer or mobile can be a vehicle for change. It can be used as your destination or as a tool to make day-to-day tasks easier.
Whether you are using YouTube to learn Graphic Design, training your brain with the millions of apps on the iPhone App Store or using Kano Club to learn how to code, your greatest education is from your computer. Kano Club is the best kind of screen time. With brand new tutorials out every two weeks, hundreds of hours of workshops and live creation with other users across the world. Your next career could be coding and Kano Club will help guide you through the basics.
Like anything in the 21st century, overconsumption is dangerous but that doesn’t mean the device itself is the danger. Humans have invented technological hardware that is saving lives and changing the world. How we use it, will define us, but for now, your screen time can get you a new job or build a life-long friendship. Watch out though, it can be addictive.
What do you think? Let us know on social media.