Solutions to curbing the abuse of social media use
by tasiags on January 26, 2014 - 6:59pm
Published on October 28, 2013, the article “Pediatricians want bedroom ban on smartphones and limits on kids’ Internet, social media use” by Lindsey Tanner highlights the problem that has arisen with unregulated media use and proposes a few solutions based on the new American Academy of Pediatrics policy.
A prominent pediatricians group states that parents need to be aware that unrestricted media use can have grave consequences, as it’s been associated with cyber bullying, school misery, obesity, violence, lack of sleep, etc. Although uncontrolled media use is not the main source of such issues, Dr. Victor Strasburger, lead author of the new American Academy of Pediatrics policy, claims that many parents are oblivious of the deep effects media exposure can have on their children.
Following an incident where two Florida girls were arrested and accused of intimidating a classmate who committed suicide, a policy, aimed at all children, was published online in the journal Pediatrics. The policy mentions a few important findings, including the fact that 75% of children aged from 12 to 17 own cellphones, “young people now spend more time with media than they do in school – it is the leading activity for children and teenagers other than sleeping”, and a 2010 report that concluded that American children from 8 to 18 years old spent an average of more than seven hours/day on some kind of entertainment media.
The policy recommends banning televisions from kids and adolescents’ rooms and restricting entertainment screen time, which includes Internet use on social networks, to a maximum of two hours per day. Dr. Strasburger realizes that children will most likely mock such recommendations, but “he hopes that it will lead to more limits from parents and schools, and more government research on the effects of media.”