The devices that we interact with each day provide so many opportunities – whether it’s chromebooks for learning at school; phones that give us the power to stay in touch or stay organized; or apps that simply allow us to have fun – the progress of these various devices have shifted the very way that we’re living our lives.
With so much of our day-to-day revolving around these devices, particularly our phones, research is showing some concerning results from this increased time in front of screens, for both children and adults.
We have unequivocal evidence that too much time with our devices has become not only a barrier to the amount of time we spend outside, but also a barrier to our creativity, our conversations, and to the very way we interact with one another.
It’s not only affecting our physical health, but our mental, emotional and spiritual health as well.
Screen Time Effects
All of the information out there can be overwhelming and sometimes feel too negative. But it’s important to understand this since it’s such an ongoing part of our daily lives.
(Stats from Irresistible by Adam Alter)
- A study of 200,000 participants around the world examined our relationship with smartphones. 41% of those participants were deemed to have a behavioural addiction to their phone.
- The average iPhone user spends 4-5 hours/day looking at their phone. Over the course of an adult life, this equates to 11 years worth of time staring at your phone.
- Research shows that scrolling endless through Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook is resulting in increased rates of depression, loneliness, anxiety, sleep deprivation and suicide risk.
- A recent poll showed that 74% of Canadians prefer to spend time inside instead of going outside even though 87% of those same adults answered that they know spending time in nature makes them happier.
- Infants less than one year old should not be exposed to electronic screens at all
- Children aged 2-4 should not be allowed more than one hour of sedentary screen time per day
- One in four Canadian children are not developmentally ready for school by the time they start kindergarten, and excessive screen time may be a key contributor
- Kindergarten-aged children who spend more than two hours a day in front of screens are 7-times more likely to display symptoms of ADHD than their peers who spend 30 minutes a day or less.
- A rise in depression, anxiety and stress could be linked to social media use
- One of the leading causes of bullying is now social media, specifically Instagram
- To make a family media plan
- For help navigating whether games/shows/movies are age-appropriate
- Screen Time Management Apps are available
- Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines by age (PDF)
- Are Canadian Children Getting Enough Sleep?
- Are Canadian Adults Getting Enough Sleep?