A new report on American families and “tech time” Show Notes

Monday, June 10, 2013 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Are American kids spending too much time with tech? Not if you ask their parents. 

The Chicago Tribune reports on research done at Northwestern University that found that parents don’t seem to be concerned about their kids’ use of media.

The study looked at over 2,000 moms and dads of children age 8 and younger.

It found that the majority of parents are largely unconcerned about their children becoming "addicted" to new media.

Nearly 8 in 10 parents reported no conflicts about their kids' logging too many hours online. They were far more worried about issues like health and safety and nutrition and fitness.

Not surprisingly, the study found that kids’ tech habits mirrored their family's own media environment.

The researchers identified three different categories of media and tech use: “media-centric,” “moderate,” and “light.” 

In the “light” households, the parents and their kids both averaged less than two hours a day of screen time. In the “moderate” homes, parents were plugged in or logged on about 5 hours per day, with their kids averaging 3 hours.

The “media-centric” families are the ones that scare me. The parents averaged 11 hours of tech time a day, with their kids logged in about 4-/12 hours.  Eleven hours a day? When do these people sleep? Or maybe they don’t. 

By the way, the researchers at Northwestern say the mellow attitudes about media and tech use may be due to the fact that That Generation X and millennial parents grew up in the digital age, and have a more “nuanced” view of tech time. That’s all well and good—but ELEVEN HOURS A DAY???

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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