“Contrary to concerns that the internet would reduce other forms of contact, the evidence shows the opposite: the more internet contact, the more in-person and phone contact. These are not either/or relationships: People use the internet and mobile phones to keep in touch, to arrange get-togethers, and to follow up after they meet. Despite fears that the internet would curb relationships by luring people to the screen and away from in-person contact, the number of important relationships may even have grown.”

Rainie, Lee, and Wellman, Barry. Networked : The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, US: MIT Press, 2012. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 30 January 2017.
Copyright © 2012. MIT Press. All rights reserved.

I’m curious about the evidence mentioned here regarding how the internet increases in-person and phone contact. My observations through my 4 years of teaching have developed some concerns of how the internet and mobile devices have reduced other forms of contact for kids. As I listen to my students share about what they did over the weekend, I’m hearing more stories about playing Minecraft or new games on their Ipads rather than play dates with friends. The lure of the screen is strong for a 7 or 8 year old and I wonder how these devices can play a part in developing the relationships of a 2nd grader?

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2 thoughts on “Too much screen time?

  1. I think there is a fine line that both parents and teachers need to balance. Like Raine and Wellman point out that while our online lives are important tools, that we must remain in the physical world. Helping students to take the video game into real life is a really important skill for them to learn. This last summer I was the supervisor of a kids camp, and one day we had a Minecraft day. Parents were concerned that all their kids would be doing is playing video games. So we made it really clear that no actual video games were involved. Instead we had kids build their mind craft worlds out of paper boxes and then had battles incorporating capturing the flag into the game. The kids took hours working on their villages in teams and then played the games for a long time! It was so much fun! The kids had fun, they worked together, and it incorporated their technical interests into the real world!

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  2. I agree with you, from what I have seen it feels like the exact opposite, I may have more “friends” online than in person but those friendships go as fast as they came. Regarding your students and screen attachment, although they are fully engaged in online games isn’t that harmful, games do seem bad until you realize that games like Minecraft teach craftsmanship and basis of alchemy. have you ever played the games they play? if you haven’t are you willing to try?

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