Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children
By TAMAR LEWIN October 25, 2011
Jaden Lender, 3, sings along softly with the "Five Little Monkeys" app on the family iPad, and waggles his index finger along with the monkey doctor at the warning, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!" He likes crushing the ants in "Ant Smasher," and improving his swing in the golf app. But he is no app addict: when the one featuring Grover from Sesame Street does not work right, Jaden says, "Come on, iPad!'" - then wanders happily off to play with his train set.
"I'll lie to myself that these are skill builders,'" said his father, Keith Lender, who has downloaded dozens of tablet and smart phone apps for Jaden and his 1-year-old brother, Dylan. "No, I'm not lying," he said, correcting himself. "Jaden's really learning hand-eye coordination from the golf game, and it beats the hell out of sitting and watching television."
Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics' longstanding recommendations to the contrary, children under 8 are spending more time than ever in front of screens, according to a study scheduled for release Tuesday.
The report also documents for the first time an emerging "app gap" in which affluent children are likely to use mobile educational games while those in low-income families are the most likely to have televisions in their bedrooms.
The study, by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco nonprofit group, is the first of its kind since apps became widespread, and the first to look at screen time from birth. It found that almost half the families with incomes above $75,000 had downloaded apps specifically for their young children, compared with one in eight of the families earning less than $30,000. More than a third of those low-income parents said they did not know what an "app" - short for application
I'll bet there's an app that tells ipod users that their kids are using too many apps.
I'll bet there's an app that reveals I and my brother spent too much time outdoors playing with wooden guns when we kids, and predicting that we'd all be serial killers because we weren't being exposed to the educational material available on TV.
Bill Horne Moderator