Etchells, P. et al. (2017) raises a concern that the policy that governs screen time for children in the UK needs to be grounded in evidence-based research. A letter signed by a group of writers, psychologists and charity heads raised concerns the screen-based lifestyles are declining the wellbeing of children’s health and wellbeing in the UK. In response, the authors urge that to inform any policy discussion, quality research and evidence to support these claims should be pursued. Furthermore, the authors argued that to examine the amount of screen use alone is inefficient, non-quantity-based factors such as the impact of the context and content of screen use are essential.
The wellbeing of children is an essential issue; national screen time policies should and do exist to protect and preserve children’s health and wellbeing. However, I have always been a person who values balance, and I genuinely believe that a one size fits all screen time guideline is not the best way to address screen time concerns. One of the factors that affect children’s screen time is digital home environments and examining these environments may help to strengthen policymakers’ recommendations. Neumann (2015) posits that current home digital environments of young children do influence children’s screen time and therefore need to be examined. For example, the devices families own at home, time children spend on them, the ease of using these devices, and the parental engagement in digital activities all affect the children’s screen time. Neumann (2015) suggests that different digital devices and the purpose of digital activities need to be taken into consideration while establishing policies to govern screen time for children.
I believe not only current technology implications, but also future technology implications on children need to be taken seriously and studied carefully. Governments and parents should spend more effort to both enhance children’s engagement with technology and to help make their use of it safer. Policies and decisions in this regard need to be grounded on evidence-based results.
Etchells, P., et al. (January 6, 2017). Screen Time Guidelines should be built on evidence, not hype. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2017/jan/06/screen-time-guidelines-need-to-be-built-on-evidence-not-hype
Neumann, M. (2015). Young children and screen time: Creating a mindful approach to digital technology. Australian Educational Computing, 30(2).