In a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article entitled “Kids Should Curtail Media Consumption” written by Jeffrey M. McCall, author of Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences, we learn what youth are doing with their time. “A Kaiser Family Foundation study released last month shows the average child ages 8-18 spends seven hours and 38 minutes each day in front of a screen . . . if multitasking is considered, the total media consumption is 10 hours and 45 minutes per day. On top of that, young people in grades 7-12 spend an average of one hour and 35 minutes a day sending and receiving text message, and this time is not counted in the 7:38 media screen use data referenced above. (http://www.ajc.com/opinion/kids-should-curtail-media-358698.html)
This leaves very little waking time for reading books and magazines, drawing and painting, physical activities including sports and riding bikes. Adults need to ensure that their children, or the youth with whom they work, learn to strike a balance in their use of media and time spent in “virtual worlds” with activities spent interacting with people and learning experiences in the “real world.”
The library is a great place for kids and teens to expand their horizons through fiction and nonfiction reading, including reading magazines. Also the events at public libraries provide “real world,” hands-on educational experiences.” Even attending movies at the library is a more social experience than watching them alone on a computer, video game device, or a phone.
For more information about the 2010 Kaiser report, go to: http://www.hearttohand.org/PDF/Kaiser_Media_Study_2010_-_News_Release.pdf