The Hawk's Eye

Just 5 more minutes

Tai Tran, Photographer

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“Just 5 more minutes, I promise.” It’s 2017, so you have definitely heard this phrase, and most likely, you have said it. Technology has taken over our lives, without us even knowing. Common Sense Media conducted a survey to expose the truth behind multi media’s effect on children.

95 percent of families with children ages 0 to 8 now have a smartphone (up from 63 percent in 2013 and up from 41 percent in 2011), and 78 percent have a tablet (up from 40 percent in 2013 and up from eight percent just six years ago, in 2011).

Children from lower-income homes spend an average of 1 hour and 39 minutes more time with screen media each day than those from higher-income homes. Children from homes with lower parent education consume more screen media than children from homes with higher parent education (2 hours 50 minutes vs. 1 hour 37 minutes).

This issue is also a child health concern: “According to parents, nearly half (49 percent) of children age eight or under often or sometimes watch television or play video games within an hour before bedtime, contrary to recommendations from pediatricians.”

Technology has become so prominent in our everyday lives that we forget valued traditions like family dinner. Multi-media and smartphones have become so overwhelming, Common Sense Media hired famous comedian Will Ferrell to star in a technology awareness commercial commenting on the effect of technology on families. These videos provide a comedic standpoint on a serious issue and in so doing are bringing more awareness to the issue.

However, some people believe that technology is important to today’s society. “It is promising to see many of the gaps closing when it comes to access to technology and devices among all segments of our population,” Steyer added. “Technology is integral to success in our world, and every child deserves access to it. Over the last several years, we have seen the digital divide and app gap closing, which is a very positive development for our country.”

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