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Taming The Technology Beast

Christopher Harris

If you are a parent or grandparent, I’m sure you’re already aware of the overwhelming task of monitoring kids’ technology access. They are growing up in a society dominated by mass media.  News feeds, tweets, Facebook posts, viral videos, TV shows, video games, music, movies,etc. While these mediums aren’t evil in and of themselves they are all communicating beliefs, values, and attitudes. I find myself having to explain things to my children that, frankly, I wasn’t quite ready to discuss. Media is definitely a wonderful resource but there’s also a dark side that I want to protect my kids from.

Here are some alarming statistics for us to consider as parents and grandparents.

“According to a recent report, Always Connected, compiled by the Sesame Workshop and The Joan Ganz Cooney Centerchildren ages 8-10 spend about five and a half hours each day using media, but are actually exposed to an alarming eight hours a day because they’re media multitasking, like watching cartoons while using a portable gaming system”.

“Babies have jumped on the technology bandwagon and of the 25 percent of children under five who use the Internet, 80 percent do so at least once a week. By age three, a quarter of those children go online daily”.

“While computer adoption is growing in popularity, TV still reigns supreme. A recent study found that kids of all ages watch approximately three hours of TV each day during the week and four hours on the weekends. While older kids add more screen time on top of that with multimedia, gaming and Internet usage, kids ages 2-5 spend most of their time watching TV, averaging three and a half hours a day, which is also the highest that number has been in the past eight years”.


I often sit with our kids and watch cartoons or movies and there have been more than a few times that I have seen or heard something that caused me to change the channel or Netflix show. It’s become sort of an art for me to fish out the movies and cartoons that are full of liberal propaganda and/or secular humanist ideas. Could you imagine having Netflix as a kid? Youtube? Snapchat? I mean it’s overwhelming as a parent trying to keep up with the latest social media apps. Not to mention, the slang kids use these days on these different mediums. I need an app just to translate what they are saying. In such a technologically advanced world, we sure have our work cut out for us.

it's family time tray

Do any of your kids fall into those categories mentioned in the stats? If so, what are some practical ways you monitor you kids’ exposure to mass media? How do you keep your children from being addicted to technology?

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