Kelly Wallace, CNN’s digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering new findings on teenage addiction to smartphone, including parenting in this age.
Our kids are addicted to screens. TV, computer screen, tablet or Smartphone – kids can spend up to 75% of their day playing with one or the other.
Whenever I visit my nephews, I experience how strong this addiction can be. My 2 year old nephew is browsing the YouTube app on the iPad almost as fast as I do. Well, this is amazing, and I admire this little smart guy, but I have problems to communicate with him because his attention span is so short.
A few months back I started UNDIGITIZE.ME first and foremost for myself. I am addicted to the Smartphone, and I wanted to find ways to get my life back. The deeper I dig, I get to the real problems – and kids’ addiction to screens is one of them. Now, with the “Phone Faced Down” campaign, on family dinners we are no longer allowing the kids to play with any of the screens, and we see the change immediately. They cry and cry for half an hour, but then they get creative and play with us. So I get to know my nephew more and more.
But influencing my own family is not enough – I feel that I want to make a real change. I want more kids, and more parents get aware to the screens addiction. I want the message to spread – that is the whole purpose of UNDIGITIZE.ME. I want parents to discuss it with each other and with their kids. Understanding the good and the bad in the screens. What we can gain, but also what we lose when we are “screening” ourselves so much.
With that in mind, I’m ready for the next challenge – spreading the word to the kids. And what is a better way doing that, than creating a children’s book, that will inspire them – not preaching to them – to try and visit the world outside the screens a bit more. To explore the abundance in the physical world, more than they do today.
I will share this beautiful journey with you in the next few weeks and months.
// Lior Frenkel
To read more about kids and tech addiction, try Michael’s guest post.