ONLINE TEEN ACTIVITY SHOULD BE LIMITED TO 2 HOURS A DAY WARNS DOCTORS – WTF, LMFAO, LOL – yes, that is going to the be the most probable response from teenagers who spend too much time online according to this latest study.
Regardless as to whether you think this is ridiculous or not a leading pediatricians’ group now recommends that teenagers shouldn’t be subjected to more than two hours a day online and those who do spend more than the recommended amount are likely to be subjected to violence, cyber-bullying, issues with school work, obesity, sleep deprivation and a whole number of other health and social issues.
According to the group, parents simply have no clue as to the damage that can be done to impressionable teenagers and that the social networks can turn a well-behaved, caring teenager into an unruly person who relishes the thought of bullying other teenagers online.
The lead author of the new ‘American Academy of Pediatrics Policy, Dr. Victor Strasburger feels that the warning signs are being ignored by parents who allow their children, especially teenagers, unrestricted access to the internet and more disturbingly, un-monitored access to the major social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
According to the policy, restricted access to the internet needs extends to children and teens that have televisions in their bedrooms. All such activities, such as being online and watching movies, should not only be monitored but heavily restricted to just two hours a day.
A recent policy statement in 2010 found that children between the ages of 8 and 18 spent an average of over seven hours online a day; this was also extended to time spent watching television.
The social implications, according to Dr. Strasburger are devastating in the long run with children growing up to be anti-social. Dr. Strasburger also noted a disturbing amount of children who were allowed to use computers and mobile devices in the privacy of their bedrooms – he went on to state that if you have a 14 year old boy that is permitted to such unrestricted and un-monitored access then it is almost certain that such a child will be viewing pornography online.
Of course mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are prolific among our children; a fact backed up with research that showed 75% of children between the ages of 12 to 17 owned such a device.
It is indeed worrying to think that our kids spend more time online or watching television combined than at school and it does make one reflect as to whether their activities are affecting their ability to learn.
Over the last few years we have seen numerous reports into the trend of anti-social behaviour our teenagers display and there are those who directly attribute this behaviour to their online use.
We have also been subjected to children being groomed by online peadophiles and have seen the rise in children engaging in sexting explicit images of themselves among friends and even complete strangers.
Other disturbing trends such as cyber-bullying are certainly becoming more prevalent among our children and this has lead to a number of teenage suicides being reported.
We continue to pressure our Governments for more control over the content online, especially in the area of pornography. However, maybe it is time that parents took more responsibility and restricted access and when access to online content is permitted this should be monitored.
We cannot simply expect our Governments to wrap us in cotton wool and therefore we must take responsibility for what our children engage in and view online.