For this week's Junior High Junction, I'm going to list the reasons my husband and I have decided against letting our middle school age children have devices - phone, iPads, tablets, and video games. This post is in no way meant to criticize those of you who do allow their children to have devices. Every family is different, and every family will make different decisions.
1.) Devices are a time-sucker. According to this website, kids ages 8-18 are spending an average of 44.5 hours weekly in front of screens. Granted, I'm sure this includes television, too; still, this is an incredible amount of wasted time our kids are spending in front of screens.
2.) Devices are addicting. Everywhere I go, I see people glued to their screens. In waiting rooms, at restaurants, at the grocery store, driving, at the park...it's ridiculous. Most of these people are children and teens! I do not want my kids to be glued to their phones or tablets.
3.) Kids cannot communicate anymore. Texting has truly become the main form of communication between teens these days. Kids don't know how to interact with each other or with adults. I want my kids to be able to clearly communicate with all people.
4.) Devices have killed our teen's creativity. When our kids are bored, they don't pick up a book or head outside to shoot hoops anymore. They pick up their phones or tablets or play video games! They cannot think of better ways to entertain themselves. I want my kids to be creative and use their creativity to help change the world.
5.) Our teens are dependent on devices to find information. Don't get me wrong, devices can be a great tool. I use my phone quite a bit to find information for the kids. However, teens find dictionaries and encyclopedias to be obsolete! The majority of teens can't even use a real reference book without help. I want my kids to be able to utilize both - devices and real, live books.
6.) Devices can be dangerous. At least, the internet is dangerous, and kids are using devices to gain access to the internet. Between cyber bullying and pedophiles, I know I don't want my kids involved in any of it. It's not that I don't trust my kids; rather, I don't trust the internet! When my children do get on my computer for school-related things, they are always monitored by me and always sit in the kitchen.
Will we ever allow our kids to have devices? I'm not sure. Maybe when they get older, we will reevaluate our decision.
Do you allow you kids to use devices? Do you put time restrictions on their usage? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!