From television to computers to cell phones, technology surrounds us. Without a doubt technology has opened many doors for us. Access to the internet promotes the spread of ideas and information, access to television allows us to view art in the form of films, and access to cell phones allows us to call our loved ones no matter where they are.
On the flip side, too much of anything is not a good thing. This logic holds true when it comes to technology and screen time. What may seem like a harmless activity can affect us in deeper ways than we realize. It’s important to be mindful of how much time we are spending on our devices.
Here are some facts and figures about TV habits:
- The average American child between 2-17 years old spends 19 hours, 40 minutes watching television per week.
- 202 ads air for “junk-food” during four hours of Saturday morning cartoons.
- Parents spend an average of 38.5 minutes in meaningful conversation with their children.
- The average American child spends 4 hours, 41 minutes in front of a screen of some kind every day.
- 55% of young adults admit to postponing their bedtime for the internet or TV.
- The more babies engage with screens the less time they spend in creative play-the foundation of learning.
- American children watch 20,000 television commercials per year.
- Children can develop brand loyalty by age 2.
- By age 65, the average American has seen 2 million commercials.
- 40% of Americans always or often watch TV while eating dinner.
- Marketers purposefully encourage children to nag their parents for products. Nagging accounts for one in three fast food restaurants trips.
- According to the American Heart Association, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese. This is nearly triple the rate in 1963.
5 Ways to Turn Off the Power and Tune into the World Around Us:
- Get moving! Go for a walk, play soccer with your kids, or go for a family bike ride! Getting 30 minutes of physical activity each day has been shown to help keep our bodies healthy and strong.
- Curl up with a good book. You know that book sitting on your shelf that you bought months ago? Now is the perfect time to pick it up and read a few pages.
- Start a garden. Springtime is here so dust off the gardening tools and plant some beautiful flowers, herbs, or veggies like bell peppers or tomatoes.
- Cook up some creativity in the kitchen. Find a new recipe online or in your favorite cookbook to try and make it a family fun activity!
Whatever activity you choose to do away from the screens will surely brighten your day and open your world to new possibilities.