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Screen Time: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | August 17th, 2009 | Teen Perspective

XboxRecently, I completed earning enough  money to buy a Xbox 360 Pro for myself.  I am limited in the amount of ‘screen time’ I am allowed a day, and I wanted to discuss that with you.

Now, some of my thoughts on screens (TV, video games, computers, etc.) for kids.  First of all, I believe they are addictive.  Some studies have shown that video games are addictive, they release a drug-like chemical. Here is one article on the study of video game addiction.  I have seen kids at school who are addicted, it’s all they talk about or do after school (World of Warcraft is the most common addiction).

Also, there is a link between screens and obesity.  Sure, there are games like the Wii Fit that exercise you,  but how much of an exercise are they?  To me the Wii Fit doesn’t provide a serious workout, and most games in it are not as effective as believed.

I think screen time for children should be limited.  Screen time should be decided on a child by child basis, but on a school night anywhere from no time to an hour and a half a day is good.  For example, if a child is doing poorly  in school, limit the amount to a low number (for example zero to half an hour).  On weekends, up to four hours a day is a good amount.  I have noticed that kids who are allowed to use screens more get worse grades.  That is because instead of doing homework when they get home, these kids game or watch TV. Also, in class, these kids will think things like, “I need to level up my dwarf mega super warrior” or “What’s on Fox tonight?… oh, it’s that comedy show” instead of “Two plus two equals four”.

These addictions can cause physical injuries, too, such as the ones mentioned in an older Level Revel article, Injured by Living in a Virtual World (Thanks, Bea).

Screen time should be limited because there are many dangers lurking around the corner!

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