Reason Podcast

Why Parents Shouldn’t Flip Out Over Too Much Screen Time: Podcast

Jordan Shapiro's The New Childhood boldly embraces technological innovation and the interconnected world it's creating.

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"How do I prepare my children for a future I can't imagine?"

Adults project their fears onto children—our own or other people's—and especially tend to view new technologies (the internet) and cultural products (video games) as mortal threats to the way things have always been and should always be. That leads to a lot of really bad policies and ridiculous urban legends (Momo Challenge, anyone?). And constantly being in a state of panic over change makes life pretty sucky for kids and grown-ups alike.

My guest today is Jordan Shapiro, author of The New Childhood: Raising Kids To Thrive in a Connected World. Unlike virtually any other book about kids and digital culture that I have read in recent years, The New Childhood doesn't begin from the presumption that smartphones, tablets, and online gaming are making kids dumber, less focused, and unhappy. Shapiro, a psychologist who teaches at Temple University, has produced a thoughtful analysis of the benefits of new media for younger people. As important, he shows how adults need to understand the uniquely interconnected world in which their children now live. This deeply researched, historically conscious, and powerfully argued book blends academic rigor with personal experience and practical advice. In it, Shapiro takes free-range parenting into the cloud.

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13 responses to “Why Parents Shouldn’t Flip Out Over Too Much Screen Time: Podcast

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  2. Adults project their fears onto children?our own or other people’s?and especially tend to view new technologies (the internet) and cultural products (video games) as mortal threats to the way things have always been and should always be.

    My son recently had a physical. The doctor was very concerned that my son doesn’t have a lot of contact with other people and spends a lot of time on his computer. The doctor then suggested that my son may want to start seeing a therapist to make sure that he doesn’t become overly anti-social and/or start thinking of harming himself. At that point I was once again reminded of how dumb doctors can be and how much they want to preserve their income streams.

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  4. You gotta worry about near sightedness though.

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  8. Apple is finally testing some feature on iOS 13 to track screen time as it has become a very important issue in our modern life.
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