Plugged in and tuned out
21 January, 2010
Not that I’m guilty of anything like this…nope, not me. (I’m certainly not guilty of being a kid. Childish, yes. Kid, no.)
The studyâ€™s findings shocked its authors, who had concluded in 2005 that use could not possibly grow further, and confirmed the fears of many parents whose children are constantly tethered to media devices. It found, moreover, that heavy media use is associated with several negatives, including behavior problems and lower grades.
The third in a series, the study found that young peopleâ€™s media consumption grew far more in the last five years than from 1999 to 2004, as sophisticated mobile technology like iPods and smart phones brought media access into teenagersâ€™ pockets and beds.
Dr. Michael Rich, a pediatrician at Childrenâ€™s Hospital Boston who directs the Center on Media and Child Health, said that with media use so ubiquitous, it was time to stop arguing over whether it was good or bad and accept it as part of childrenâ€™s environment, â€œlike the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat.â€