This guest post is brought to you in collaboration with Lorraine Akemann of Moms With Apps. This is Part 1 of a 2 part post … the 2nd part will appear in the MomsWithApps.comblog in December of 2012.
From Lorraine, “Carisa and I have both been blogging about family-friendly apps since 2009. We realized through our friendship and conversations, that contrary to what the public might think, media habits in our own homes are actually quite conservative. By immersing ourselves in tech culture, we are gaining enough ‘digital literacy’ to make media plans for our own kids. We hope that by sharing our own stories, we can learn more about your stories, and create a collective view about healthy media habits for families.”
Through our discussions, we found ourselves contemplating similar questions, like, “How much screentime is too much?” This turned out to be a key issue on both our minds, as we navigate family life. There is a balance between exposing children to technology, and keeping technology at bay … so trade-offs aren’t made with other aspects of a child’s development.
Below, you’ll find some of the techniques that we’ve identified, with data from our survey. We did this ‘quick study’ with 100 parents recruited from high-tech households in our social media fan base for Digital-Storytime & MomsWithApps.
The purpose of the survey was to take a the ‘temperature’ of other families trying to balance media use for their kids, to see how our list stacked up against techniques being used by other families. Note: We focused primarily on ‘leisure time’ or ‘free time’ use of visual media or ‘screen time’ by kids, excluding all curricular & extra-curricular use of media devices for learning in a school/homework or homeschool environment (as well as use of screens for communication or other ‘acts of daily living’ for children with learning disabilities).
We also gathered a lot of qualitative comments that we’ll present in the the 2nd post, regarding advice from parents about how to manage screen time & ideas for the larger community.