As the America Heart Association re-ups it’s concerns about Sedentary Behaviour in Today’s Youth, it’s more important than ever to think about establishing a Family Tech Plan. Simply put, it’s a set of guidelines for healthy “screen time”.
Over the last 70 years, it’s clear to see that “TV Time” has steadily increased.
But you’ll notice that since 2010 there has been a “minor” slide in that trend. It’s no co-incidence that this correlates with the proliferation of smart phones and tablets. We may be watching “less” TV, but we’re still spending that time in front of a screen.
Video-on-demand has totally changed the way we watch and has given us license to watch even longer. In 2015, a survey revealed that two-thirds of views “binge-watch” TV, watching 3 or more episodes of TV in one sitting and millennials overwhelmingly engage in binge watching behaviors.
Add to that video games, chatting, social networking and blogging… it’s a wonder that we even put our devices down.
Come up with a Family Tech Media Plan
Take a few days to really observe where and when you and your family are on their devices.
- Alone in their bedrooms?
- At the dinner table?
- At social / family events?
- At Church?
- During “family time”?
- On vacation?
- Doing “homework”?
A healthy discussion about balancing our time between our screens and the rest of the world can really make a difference. Putting together a Family Tech Plain is a great way to evaluate and maintain that balance.
Ultimately how much screen time is appropriate is up to you, but I urge you to consider keeping usage under 2 hours a day. Fill the “void” with family time, hobbies and adventures. There are immeasurable benefits to taking control.
Here are a few sites to get started on creating your own Plan.
- Create a Printable Media Plan Online
- Why to Limit Your Children’s Media Usage
- Family Media Agreement and Device Contract
Author: Rick Wiley
Rick is a 5x Dad, Husband, Web Developer, Net Security Nut and all around old geek.