The Sunday Post (Inverness)
The touch-screen generation: A problem staring us in the face
Research has found that Scottish pupils have increasingly replaced outdoor play with screen time over the past decade.
Teenage boys now spend seven or eight hours a day on computers, phones, tablets, TVS and games consoles. I knew there was a problem with screens, but that’s equivalent to a fulltime job! The survey, conducted by Strathclyde University, also found that by adolescence, children are spending 80% of their waking hours sitting down.
I recently read another American study which suggested teenagers’ screen time has more than doubled during the pandemic, which shouldn’t be surprising given that school and socialising has rapidly shifted online. However, apparently the majority of that time was devoted to video games.
Whether we like it or not, screens have become
a way of life for all of us but especially for the younger generation, who have grown up with a tablet in their hands.
While technology can be a massive force for good, we have to be wise to the growing dangers, including shortened attention spans and deteriorating communication skills. A rare few hours spent sending emails or reading the news online leaves me with fuzzy eyes, so I can’t imagine the damage it could be doing to children who are facing blue light for an entire day.
More screen time means children are more sedentary and gaining weight, too.
We have to think carefully about the world we are creating for our young people. Do we really want their day to be filled with screens rather than sunlight? It’s a tricky balancing act that’s not getting any easier to maintain.