Monday, November 23, 2015

Teens spend more time on media than sleeping

I work nine hours a day. From around 8:30 until 5:30 (if I am paying attention to the alert that tells me to leave), I am answering emails, rescheduling projects, attending meetings, straightening out issues over the phone and reading more emails through lunch. Nine hours.

And that is the same amount of time the average teen is spending on media. Nine hours seems like a really long time (and it is longer than most teens sleep at night), so it is important to note that the "media" label on that link includes online videos and music, so there could be some overlap as a teenager consumes more than one form of online services at a time. But that is still a lofty number.

I have often thought about my son's future media use. About the conversations I will have with him around his device use (that it will have a bedtime) and the agreements that he will limit the amount of time he spends on screens so that he remembers to go outside and play. I've even had that internal discussion with myself about using services and apps to monitor his device use and the messages he is sending to insure he is using them responsibly.

But I know that I can't keep up with nine hours of monitoring.

It's inevitable that there will be times when I don't know what he is doing online, and I am prepared to accept that. My fear, however, remains.

How do you keep track of your child's online activities when you can barely keep track on your own? Tell me in the comments.

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