Whenever I bring up this topic it turns unpopular, for obvious reasons.
It is unpopular to say this, not just as a communicator, but as a parent. Adults have gotten so used to using television as a baby sitter –and as a back seat pacifier in the SUV — that it offends them to hear the contra view. So here are two recent reports that makes you realize that there are better ways to engage our kids.
- Television and problem-solving skills. This was a report in the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics on the effects on fast-paced cartoons on memory and .
- There is also a Kaiser Family report on Generation M2 – Media in the lives of 8 to 18 year olds.
I had brought this topic up (“TV plus children equals brain damage“) in 2005 on this blog, and it still gets a lot of hits. Now I know why. It’s an evergreen topic, simply because there will always be dissenters who think a screen could do no harm.
There has to be a downside of where we are headed. Think about this one fact: The Kaiser Family report found that young people have increased the amount of time they spend consuming media by one hour and 17 minutes daily –up from 6:21 to 7:38. That is almost the amount of time most adults spend at work each day! TIME magazine did a cover story on this in 2006. A lot has changed since then, obviously.
If you are too busy multitasking to read the report, here’s the podcast!