Hype Versus Facts

A letter was written by the government stating that childhood health and well-being is declining and it’s all because of technology (Etchells, P., et al.). Well if that isn’t alarming for a parent!

Welcome to the 21st century. Technology is a major part of our everyday lives, whether we are talking about our professions, social interactions, or lifestyle. It is important that children learn the use of technology and have some screen time (Etchells, P., et al).

Etchells and colleagues wrote a very blunt article calling out the government for trying to scare parents by stating that there is a major problem with screen time use in children. However, “this is simply not supported by solid research and evidence” (Etchells, P., et al.). What Etchells and his colleagues are trying to explain, is that what the government has been telling you is not correct. “There is no consistent evidence that more screen time leads to less outdoor play; if anything the evidence indicates that screen time and physical outdoor activity are unrelated” (Etchells, P., et al.). If the issue is children’s health, then a policy needs to be focused on children’s health for it be effective.

This theory regarding children’s screen time being a problem, is something that has been floating around for years. Is it all hype? What does the research really say? The public doesn’t know and instead of doing their own research, they fall for the scare tactics put out there by the government.

I have two young kids, one toddler and one infant. My husband and I both run our own businesses and are constantly responding to emails, answering calls, sending text messages, or just working. For all these things, we use technology. My older child likes to grab at our phones or laptops and copy what he has seen us do with it. They learn at such a young age by watching how we interact with objects, how they should then interact with those objects. We work to correct his behaviour and teach him how to use those objects appropriately. We give him a safe environment to learn to use technology and then when we feel he has had enough time or if he uses the piece of technology inappropriately, we remove that object. We are establishing boundaries with technology in the same manner we do with anything else. We also require so much outdoor and fresh air time, to ensure that the kids experience nature. Seeing the seasons change, watching all the different animals, as well as meeting new people, is a great learning experience for children. We don’t treat learning with technology any different. I agree with Etchells and his colleagues, the government is blaming poor health on technology because it is the new shiny object. It’s easy to point a finger at one thing, but show us the support.

Technology is used everyday, it is our today and our tomorrow. By imposing the same regulations to the use of technology as any other toy and ensuring that my kids are receiving well-rounded daily experiences, we feel that they will grow up to being more well-rounded. My husband and I feel that we can introduce things to the kids with regulation and moderation, by doing so, they learn about more, experience more, and develop more skills. This works for us.

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