You Tell Me: When Kids + Screens = Happiness
Anya Kamenetz
17122

My youngest is almost 13 and she has had the most exposure to digital media. It amazes her older siblings that she walks around with a tablet, can talk about the top 10 . . . most dangerous bridges, interesting marine animals or most dangerous tornadoes. She can manipulate programs, loves to play basketball and knows more about how to make a video than her mother.

I read the studies about children using digital media and I believe it boils down to the same thing it has boiled down to through the centuries — everything in moderation.

If all we did was eat apples we’d be nutritionally deficient. If all we did was play video games we’d have amazing eye hand coordination and nothing else. If we use digital media as a babysitter for all the hours the children are awake, we’ll get back the same investment we’re making — nothing.

But when we use the media to accomplish what no other generation has been able to discover, learn, achieve and grow then we’re doing nothing more than helping our children engage in a world we’ll never see come to fruition.

There are vacations when the phones should be put away and we connect face-to-face; but there is so much that is positive about digital media, it’s time we took advantage of the good and discarded the bad . . . and at the same time, let go of that nagging guilt we are somehow less than what we should be because WE didn’t have this exposure when we were children.

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