We Get By With A Little
Help from Our Friends

Dear Friends,

No one could have predicted this was how 2020 was going to roll, and what a month it’s been. With so much grim news and the many challenges of educating kids and working from home, we’ve relied more than ever on friends to add a little sunshine to our day, especially in the form of quarantainment. I can’t imagine how we would have survived the interminable isolation without the technology we have at our disposal, although it’s still astounding that internet usage is up 5 billion hours in the month of March alone.

I know my family has logged its fair share, and when my 14-year-old wants to start her day with a quick laugh on YouTube, it’s hard to argue with that during “Corona time.” Now with distance learning and social isolation, kids are on screens more than ever, leaving many parents wondering how much is too much? While there’s nothing inherently wrong with screen time, the main concern is when it replaces time for activities known to boost health and well-being–e.g. sleep, exercise, time outdoors and time with friends. Given that today’s youth were already labeled the loneliest generation, parents are now surveilling their children’s mental health daily, and are looking to technology as a helpful way to connect them to their peers. 

When we developed Our Roadmaps for Social Media and Screen Time, we reviewed several studies that actually zeroed in on the ‘Just Right Amount’ of Screen Time, and the exact point at which a happy user on social media turns sad on each of the social media platforms. For video game players, Delaney Ruston of ScreenAgers, penned “Why Three Hours is Too Much,” which is also insightful. While life has undoubtedly changed in the time of corona, the principles still hold. 

This month has been filled with the unexpected: from mowing the lawn to cutting my kid’s hair, making carbonated water and recipe exchanges, garage tennis and Zoom workouts. It has also been a time of reconnection and reflection. My sister recently introduced me to the phrase that we are human beings, not doings. Whatever lies ahead for the month of May, may you at least get a break from cooking on Mother’s Day!

With best wishes,


Julie Paul
Founder and CEO

Gold Star Articles

What’s the Right Amount of Screen Time? 

Parents often ask What’s the Right Amount of Screen Time. While the American Academy of Pediatrics has backed away from strict time limits, researchers have confirmed the Goldilocks Hypothesis that there is a ‘Just Right’ amount. Click here to learn more…

Video Games: Why Three Hours is Too Much?

Playing videogames with friends can be very social, and especially now that is so needed. If your parental instincts are telling you it’s too much time, here are some good talking points to use when discussing with your child.

What’s the Right Amount of Time on Social Media?

Based on the research we reviewed, there was one seminal study that was able to pinpoint to the minute when happy users of Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat turn into the unhappy territory. Click here to learn more…

Friend of the Month: Wendy Woo

The Coronavirus is upending business models around the globe, and thankfully, we’d already been preparing to go virtual.

moderation, advice, friends,parentsOver the years, we’ve spent many hours working through screen time issues with families and have learned the right questions to ask to help you put a practical plan in place. We’re all Parenting Technology, and even more so these days. Our goal is to help you put the technology in place to back up your parenting.

Wendy, it was a pleasure to ‘meet’ you, and look forward to continuing our conversation in the weeks to come!

Tech Tip #41: Jump into the 21st Century —
Use Google Drive to Power the Ever- Popular Recipe Exchange Copy 

So one surprise in the last month is the number of times I’ve been invited to join a recipe exchange. I think the count is up to eight now, and I’m always flattered when a Friend thinks of me (and maybe my cooking?). Somehow though, someone always seems to break the email chain, so as my friend, Jeanne Wang, pointed out, isn’t it time that we all just uploaded recipes to Google Drive?

Tap to Zoom In

I’ve taken a crack, seeding it with some family favorites. I usually follow the 5-ingredient max rule, as I am all about simplicity, and pleasing some wide-ranging and health-conscious palates. I’d be delighted to have Friends add to it–I imagine we could all use a boost in the kitchen. Download the Google Drive and Docs apps on your phone and access recipes while at the grocery store, or in your kitchen!

To sign up for Friend Letters, click here
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