The Goldilocks Level of ‘Just Right’ Screen Use | Scientific American

We routinely hear the laments that kids are spending too much time on screens, that it’s ruining their ability to focus, socialize and develop empathy. Simultanesously, it’s increasing the degree of conflict within families as well as the risks for anxiety and depression resulting from loss of sleep. As parents, our children’s physical and mental health is our primary concern, so a study published recently in Psychological Science may offer some reassuring news.  It suggests that a moderate level of screen time may actually be beneficial, which actually makes sense, given that it can be an enjoyable form of entertainment and social connection.

The effect on well-being varies depending on the type of medium or device. The optimal amount of screen time is different for:

  • TV and movies
  • Video games
  • Computers
  • Smartphones

However, what parents should know is that overall, the optimal peak point is between one to two hours during the week. On the weekends, the optimal exposure is longer, so you can squeeze in a few more errands or Me time without feeling too guilty.

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