Worried about your child’s screentime? A new report on “Teens, Technology and Friendships” from the Pew Foundation puts an unusually positive spin on teenagers’ online engagement.
The report found that young adults build friendships and connections online, by both strengthening connections with real-world friends, and by connecting with new friends via social media, video gaming, and messaging apps.
The associate director of research at the PEW center even noted “What we found is that it’s crucial for teenagers in forming and maintaining these really important relationships in their lives.” So rest easy, parents; it turns out your child’s screentime might not be quite as bad for them as we originally thought.
You can read more about the study on The New York Times’ blog, Motherlode here.
Parenting in the age of the Internet is hard, especially since parents are raising a new generation of digital natives. A recent blog on “The New York Times” site caught our attention. The author states her child “asked the internet” for answers to a number of daily questions, such as whether or not there is a frozen pizza left in the fridge.
She brings up the point: “What do children, especially young children who are just starting to make sense of the world, think about the Internet — what it’s for, where the information comes from, how reliable it is? And how do these notions change over time?”
Studies show children are good at using computers to provide facts, but not as useful for making moral judgements or deciphering the veracity of claims made on the internet. Children are fairly predictable in their internet behavior: they trust sources that have been correct before and discredit those that have been proven wrong.
This means children will be increasingly looking to the internet to solve knowledge gaps. The author closes with a great point: with our children immersed in the Internet practically from birth, we need to know what they understand, and more important, what they don’t, so we can fulfill our parental duty of filling in the gaps.