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Parents Spending As Much Time On Screens As Teens

Dorathy Gass

According to a recent survey, parents are spending as much time in front of screens as their teens and over three hours more daily than their tweens. Nonprofit Common Sense Media sponsored the survey that revealed tween and teen parents spend over nine hours daily plugged in.

Over 80 percent of that time was not for work purposes either, rather, parents were playing video games, on social networks, watching shows, checking out web pages, and other fun activities on their tablet, smartphone, or computers. In 2015, Common Sense Media launched a survey that targeted eight to 18-year-olds, which revealed that teens spend that same amount of time as well in front of screens (about nine hours daily). The report revealed that tweens, which are defined as eight to 12 years of age, spend an average of six hours daily.

Common Sense Media Director of Research, Michael Robb noted that the results indicate that parents are not that different from their children when it comes to technology.

Despite these numbers, it seems that parental units (approximately 78 percent) feel they are positive role models to their kids when it comes to technology and media, as per the survey that polled close to 1,800 parents with kids between the ages of eight and 18. It’s important to note, this is the first Common Sense Media survey geared towards parents’ screen time.

More stats from the report include the fact that two-thirds of parents surveyed claimed that media multitasking, that is using multiple screens while working, had no effect on the quality of their work. Interestingly enough, the tween/teen survey conducted last year reported the same results, with close to two-thirds of the kiddos saying that multitasking while doing homework (i.e. watching television or texting), did not affect their quality of work.
Robb chimes in saying that parents might find their job difficult if they are constantly texting while with their children, yet get frustrated when they try and get their kid’s attention while they are watching T.V. or on a device of their own. Being a positive role model is key.

CNN reported some additional stats from the survey include the fact that 56 percent of parents in the report worry their kids will become addicts to the Internet, while 38 percent are concerned about sharing personal details online, and 34 percent fret about the negative impact that excessive screen time will have on their children’s sleep.

Overall, parents want to monitor the online activity of their kids to ensure they are not viewing anything age-inappropriate, but at the same time, they also see technology as a good thing when it comes to academic success: with 94 percent of parents saying they support technology efforts when it comes to their kids’ school work and overall education.

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