Kids are spending on average 53 hours a week staring at a screen; either computer, TV or cell phone 

Experts say the increased use of media is leading to decreasing abilities in other areas of life.   The study looked at kids ages eight to 18.  It says they are staring at a screen; either computer, TV or cell phone, about 53 hours a week.  That’s more time than adults spend at a full-time job.


According to one Wheeling psychologist who has studied the Kaiser Foundation report, it’s taking a toll.

Their fingers can fly over the keyboard.

They can multitask, text, eat dinner and watch TV.

But the study found they can’t hold a face-to-face conversation quite as well.

And their level of physical fitness is going down fast.

“I really don’t see how they have time to be engaged in those kinds of physical activities that are so important for health,” said Dr. John McFadden of Wheeling.

The study shows that kids claim to be on the computer to help with their homework, but many aren’t using it for that purpose.

“Grades are suffering,” Dr. McFadden said. “In fact, the Kaiser Foundation study actually broke that out. The students who spend less time in these (media) activities are getting better grades.”

And the ones who spend more time staring at a screen are doing worse in school.

The same goes for relationships with parents.

And here’s one result you wouldn’t expect.

“A very curious finding is that those who spend more time with the Internet, cell phones, television and video games complain of more boredom,” Dr. McFadden reported.

It shows that reading books is on the decline.

Kids would respond that parents who aren’t texting and doing online social networking are dinosaurs, missing the wave of the future.

Dr. McFadden reminds us that grades, fitness and the ability to converse are going down and boredom is going up.

“So if that’s the wave of the future, it’s not a good wave,” he concludes.

The study shows that only 28 percent of parents set limits on TV or video game time.

Dr. McFadden says modern technology is a marvelous thing.

But he says too much of any good thing can become a bad thing.

Via The State Journal