If you think your kids are spending too much time on the computer, well then you are not alone. According to a 2007 annual report from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future, more and more parents are frustrated by the Internet sucking up too much much time from their children. The numbers reveal that 33 percent of all parents surveyed are worried, up from a mere 11 percent a few years ago.
Kids today conduct whole lives online, and it seems that we are always encouraging them. Take for instance the fact that more and more schools are incorporating digital curriculum. Kids have to go online to get homework assignments and complete projects.
Social networking often takes place online, too, as kids as less likely to actually spend time outside meeting new friends. As parents, we may worry about exposing them to the dangers of the outside world.
Even television is being viewed online, as kids catch up on shows they might have missed by being on the computer. And of course, there are also online games, blogs and websites to create and peruse.
Do you set limits for your kids Internet time?
I definitely do, although it is hard to make a case for less computer time when I myself spend a lot of my time online for work and yes, recreation. Fortunately, my kids do prefer to spend time outside over time sitting at the computer, but they are still young.
What are the signs of too much computer use? Well, apart from the glazed eyes and the complete lacking of awareness of anything else that is going on in the home that you might expect, I offer the following warning signs:
They refuse to leave the computer for dinnertime.
They can download and install music files or Windows applications but have no clue how to swim, bait a fish hook, ice skate, jump rope or use a hula-hoop.
They can tell you detailed information about their online friends, but they don’t remember your middle name or the names of their relatives.
What do you think? What limits, if any, do you set for your kids Internet use?
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.