Bruce the Blog

Kids and Their Screens

“Kids, I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today.

“Kids, who can understand anything they say…?

“Why can’t they be like we were?

Sign Up for E-News

“Perfect in every way,

“What’s the matter with kids today?”

When Lee Adams, who lives in northern Westchester, penned those laugh-worthy lyrics for the Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” he was pumping irony.

It’s a rite of passage for older folks (a demographic that includes yours truly) to kid themselves into thinking everything they did as kids was somehow more authentic and more preferable to how today’s youth behave or are reared. You may have seen those wistful Facebook memes that pine for yesterday.

Far from endorsing that generational narcissism, Mr. Adams’s clever words justifiably poke fun at it. “Perfect in every way.” Hardly har har!

But when I hear friends of mine, among others, fondly recall the bygone days of our youth, while also bemoaning today’s generation of young people, their irony, sadly, is nowhere to be found. They actually believe their own PR.

Case in point is how vigilant young parents understandably harbor concerns about their kids spending too much time with faces fixed on a screen. Sure, formative minds and bodies need physical exercise. They need to spend quality time in the physical presence of other humans, they need to develop critical thinking skills. They need all of that. But it doesn’t mean their screen time is for naught.

Before being too quick to criticize how attached kids are to their digital devices, their elders shouldn’t too quickly forget, like it or not, that they watch every move we make. Take social media, where the maturity of an adult’s post can be less than flattering to that same adult’s chronological age (I’m no innocent, either).

If you don’t have young kids, you might be surprised that their favorite social media platform is far from Facebook. Nearly half of teens recently surveyed by investment bank Piper Jaffray chose Snapchat as their social medium of choice.

Facebook is preferred by a scant 4 percent of teens. Where teens and adults are in lockstep is in naming their favorite website: Amazon.

In truth, there’s nothing “wrong with these kids today” that isn’t also symptomatic of how adults act. More than four in 10 Americans check our phones within five minutes of getting out of bed every day. By the time we go back to sleep that night, we’ve consulted our cellphones another 50 times or more.

Those stats are courtesy of children’s media expert Sara DeWitt, who works at PBS Kids.

Speaking of cellphones, Ms. DeWitt says, “Parents are very worried that this device is going to stunt their children’s social growth… that this is going to disrupt childhood.”

She couldn’t disagree more. “[These screens] have the power to tell us more about what a child is learning than a standardized test can. These screens have the power to prompt more real-life conversations between kids and their parents.”

Sara DeWitt reminds us that history repeats itself: “Over 50 years ago, the debate was raging about the newly dominant medium: television. It might be separating kids from one another.”

There are three myths about screen time for kids, according to Ms. DeWitt, who sees them as unfounded “fears”: 1) Screens are passive; 2) Playing games on the screens is a waste of time; 3) Screens isolate children from parents.

You can hear more about what Sara DeWitt has to say on this subject on the podcast “Ted Talks Daily.” The 12-minute episode of Oct. 12, 2017, is titled, “3 Fears About Screen Time for Kids – and Why They’re Not True.”

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

The Meaning of the Election Results

There are no national implications from last Tuesday’s election results. Yet, there was our very own senator, Chuck Schumer, saying, “This was a profound election result. This was the rejection of Donald Trump personally, and this was the rejection of Donald Trump’s policies. This was a full-fledged and total rejection of Donald Trump.” 

What else is he gonna say? ...

Reflections on Elections Past and Present

As I awaited the returns on election night, I couldn’t help but reflect on my very first electoral experience. It was a cold November night in 1991. Many months before, having been weaned on John F. Kennedy’s call to activism as well as my dad’s living example of community involvement, I answered an ad in the North County News which called on any persons interested in running ...

Get Your Gig On

It’s understandable that when people see empty storefronts, they infer it’s the mark of economic malaise. It is not. What’s not taken into account by jumping to that conclusion is that times change, marketplace dynamics change, shopping habits change.

Consumers are spending money, all right, just in different places and in different ways. A storefront that made sense in past ...

One More Doggone Diet

“I caught the dog looking at himself in the full-length mirror today,” I said to my husband. “I think he’s feeling a little self-conscious about his thighs. And he’s worried about putting on weight over the holidays.”

“The dog is worried?” my husband asked.

“Yes, he's noticed that he’s put on a few pounds since Halloween and he ...

The Importance of Reading to Your Baby

Dear Dr. Linda,

I have a 3-month-old baby and have been reading to her from the day she was born. My husband has dyslexia and I’m concerned that she may have inherited it. Will this prevent it?

Madison

Dear Madison,

I wish there was a guarantee that your baby wouldn’t inherit her dad’s “reading gene” but there isn’t. Whether she has a genetic ...

Yorktown Has Spoken

November 19, 2017

What happened? If you ever watched any Yorktown Town Board meetings over the last few years, you couldn’t help but leave with the impression that they were extremely partisan productions that could quickly devolve into a political free-for-all without warning.

Speakers at Courtesy of the Floor spoke at their own peril. Supervisor Michael Grace and Councilman Gregory Bernard consistently ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, November 20, 7:00 PM

NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital, Cortlandt Manor

Breast Cancer Support Group

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_4fb08b9241797e087f00_murphy-to-host-first-annual-hudson-valley-turkey-trot

Thu, November 23, 8:15 AM

Yorktown

Hudson Valley Turkey Trot

Health & Wellness

Fri, November 24, 12:30 PM

Support Connection Office, Yorktown Heights

Advanced Stage Women’s Cancers Support Group

Health & Wellness