Screen time up in response to pandemic so find beneficial uses

Screen time is up; use it wisely

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Screen time is up across the board during this pandemic, as many work and learn from home.

Experts recommend that you put that screen time to good use.

HighSpeedInternet.com, an internet comparison website that helps consumers find the best ways to connect to the internet, conducted a survey to explore the changes in Americans’ screen time habits, specifically looking at children.

The report can be found here.

The survey found about 57 percent of people say their screen time has increased at least by an hour.

“We wanted to reach out to experts and figure out are there any benefits screen time because it’s not realistic right now to tell parents to limit screen time to 30 minutes to an hour a day,” said Victoria Merinda, a staff researcher at highspeedinternet.com. “It’s really interesting. Some experts pointed out things like learning another language is something you can do online that maybe your parents cannot teach you. A lot of kids can learn really simple things like shapes and colors. Some people just staying in touch with family and being able to talk to people you can’t see, grandparents across the country. There are definitely more than a few benefits but it’s just more about how you use the screens and what you do with them.”

The survey also found that 30 percent of those who responded spend most of their screen time streaming TV shows or movies during the pandemic and 70 percent of those who responded downloaded a new app.

"Some benefits of screen time include: Providing a place for youth to connect with like-minded others, opportunities to explore interests and hobbies that aren’t available to one in “real” life, keeping in touch with far-away friends and family,” said Diana Graber, author of Raising Humans in a Digital World and one of those who responded to the survey.

Experts say make sure your children are utilizing screen time in beneficial ways for learning, school and socializing while their screen time is up.

“I think this is such a weird situation that none of us could’ve predicted even months ago,” she said. "I think give yourself a break. If it’s a few months of a little more screen time, I don’t think it’s the end of the world to give your kids a bit more time on the screens."

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