How much time do you spend looking at your phone? If you’re like the
average American, it adds up to about 49 days out of the year.
ABC News’ Diane Sawyer spent six months traveling the country and talking to families, teachers, doctors and even tech insiders to put together a two-hour special about how screen time is affecting us and what we can do about it.
As part of the special, researchers helped Sawyer’s team recreate a study in which parents scroll through their phones without looking up for two minutes straight while their children play nearby.
In the footage, 2-year-old Jensen begs his mom to pay attention to him no less than 7 times in that short span. Another child, Hunter, seems to just give up.
“She’s sitting down and she’s waiting,” one of the researchers, Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, observed. “She knows her mother is not available right now.”
Hunter’s mom, Monica, said it was a wake-up call.
“I think you don’t realize when you’re at home in your own environment,” she said. “I’ll think I’ll pay attention more now to not pick my phone up.”
Dennis-Tiwary, a professor of psychology at New York’s Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, expressed a similar sentiment about the study as a whole. It’s not about guilt-tripping parents but about reminding them of what’s important, she said.
“Face-to-face time we have with our children is not just the icing on the cake, it is the cake,” she said. “It is the place that children learn the most about the world — and about themselves.”
Read the whole story: ABC