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From policing screen time to weighing screen use

The UK Chief Medical Officer has just released a report on screen use and the mental health and wellbeing of children. This post by Sonia Livingstone examines new research which has shown that the length of screen time for children is not as harmful as first thought, and calls for a more balanced approach. Sonia Livingstone is Professor of Social Psychology […]

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    Who is advising parents on screen time? Evidence-based advice for health visitors

Who is advising parents on screen time? Evidence-based advice for health visitors

Wondering whether to buy your child a tablet for Christmas but concerned about the risks? Health visitors could play a vital role in advising parents on screen time, but there is currently a lack of evidence-based research or guidance for them to draw upon. Here, Sonia Livingstone and Keely Franklin discuss what health visitors can do to bridge the gap when […]

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    Advising on screen time in Australia: Is the evidence up to the task?

Advising on screen time in Australia: Is the evidence up to the task?

How do the Australian Department of Health and Ageing’s new screen time guidelines sit with the latest research about screen time? In this blog Jane Mavoa highlights the problems around a lack of robust evidence informing official guidelines. Policy falls behind the latest push to focus on content and context of screen time, rather than just quantity of hours.  Jane is a […]

Portuguese families facing the challenges of screen time

How are today’s young Portuguese children engaging with screens? How are parents balancing digital media in their children’s lives? In this post, Cristina Ponte, Teresa Sofia Castro, José Alberto Simões, Susana Batista and Ana Jorge show that many parents would rather have their children involved with other activities than watching TV, but that most parents also use screens as a way to keep […]

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    Why the very idea of ‘screen time’ is muddled and misguided

Why the very idea of ‘screen time’ is muddled and misguided

When it comes to screen time, ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions don’t work when they are taken too literally; they don’t allow for the diverse conditions of real people’s lives. In this post Sonia Livingstone and Natalia Kucirkova explore the problematic concept of screen time and measuring technology usage in terms of quantity rather than quality. Sonia is Professor of Social Psychology at LSE’s Department of Media and Communications and […]

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    Kids’ screen time shifts dramatically toward phones and tablets

Kids’ screen time shifts dramatically toward phones and tablets

How has children’s media use evolved over time? Common Sense Media published their latest zero to eight study in October, and in this post Michael Robb discusses the key findings. Michael is director of research at Common Sense, overseeing the research program, evaluation of organization impact, and program development research. He has published research on the impact of electronic media […]

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    Tablet totalitarianism – how an obsession with ‘screen time’ misses the point

Tablet totalitarianism – how an obsession with ‘screen time’ misses the point

With the start of the school year, backpacks will be filled with notes home to parents. Instead of the expected warnings about forgotten PE kits last year, though, one mother discovered a flyer from her child’s school exhorting parents to tell their kids to ‘PUT DOWN THAT TABLET!’ Concerned about the negative tone, and lack of balance, mum and […]

Screen time for kids: Getting the balance right

Because it is #nationalplayday today, and children are out of school for summer holidays, we are discussing strategies for managing screen-time.  This post features an infographic created by Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross, together with the Connected Learning Alliance, which addresses more effective methods for parents than simply ‘watching the clock’.  Sonia is Professor of Social Psychology at LSE’s Department of Media […]

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    How dropping screen time rules can fuel extraordinary learning

How dropping screen time rules can fuel extraordinary learning

How can we focus on quality over quantity in the ongoing issue of screen time rules? In this post, Mimi Ito suggests practical ways to focus on quality screen engagement and to avoid stressing about counting time. With this perspective, Mimi’s research shows that extraordinary learning is possible when we allow young people to engage with the internet in […]

The trouble with ‘screen time rules’

How much is too much when it comes to ‘screen time’? Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross round-up the advice that is being given to parents about screen time rules, where reports represent advice on a scale from fear to hype. Rather than measuring screentime purely by the clock, Alicia and Sonia suggest a set of lifestyle-based questions that can help […]