“A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley”

Teenage boy in a bedroom listening to music through his smartphone

I have already written about limiting smart phone access here and here.

From a New York Time Article in October 2018:

“A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high. The debate in Silicon Valley now is about how much exposure to phones is O.K.”

One mother, a former social computing researcher married to a Facebook engineer, has made the firm boundary that there is no regular time when her young children can be on screens.

At all.

The only time is long car rides and planes. She softened recently and said they could watch a movie together as a family on Friday nights.

Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and now the chief executive of a robotics and drone company said:

“We thought we could control it,” Mr. Anderson said. “And this is beyond our power to control. This is going straight to the pleasure centers of the developing brain. This is beyond our capacity as regular parents to understand.”

“He has five children and 12 tech rules. They include: no phones until the summer before high school, no screens in bedrooms, network-level content blocking, no social media until age 13, no iPads at all and screen time schedules enforced by Google Wifi that he controls from his phone. Bad behavior? The child goes offline for 24 hours.”

“I didn’t know what we were doing to their brains until I started to observe the symptoms and the consequences,” Mr Anderson observed.”

“Athena Chavarria, who worked as an executive assistant at Facebook and is now at Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic arm, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, said: “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.”

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