A group of doctors are adding to their field’s centuries-long tradition of party pooping by recommending that parents impose stricter limits on kids’ time with laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Sure, unrestricted media use has been linked to “violence, cyberbullying, school woes, obesity, lack of sleep and a host of other problems,” the Associated Press reports. But surely being able to send unlimited text messages to all your snot-nosed friends is worth it?
Adolescent medicine specialist Dr. Victor Strasburger doesn’t think so. He encourages parents to set limits on tech use.
“This is the 21st century and they need to get with it,” said the doctor, who has a Ph. D. in sass.
He recommends children only use the Internet for a measly two hours per day. His new policy statement quotes a 2010 report that found U.S. children ages 8 to 18 spend “an average of more than seven hours daily using some kind of entertainment media,” which, okay fine, seems excessive.
Also, AP reports, kids these days are watching TV online and (gasp!) sexting after their parents think they’ve gone to bed.
“I guarantee you that if you have a 14-year-old boy and he has an Internet connection in his bedroom, he is looking at pornography,” Dr. Strasburger said. Nothing gets past this guy!
Limiting your kids’ tech intake might be a good idea. Just make sure you don’t take it away from them completely. You don’t want them to be like the freaky kid you grew up with whose parents banned TV so he’d never even heard of Fresh Prince.